SCAR: A Deep Sea Thriller (2020) Book Review
Author: Michael Cole
Originally published: October 26, 2020
Page count: 198 pages
Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
“Scar is a killing machine. Born from DNA spliced between the extinct Megalodon and modern-day Great White, he has a viciousness that transcends time. His evil is reflected in his eyes, his savagery in his two-inch serrated teeth, his ruthlessness in his trail of death. After escaping captivity, the killer shark travels to the island community Cross Point, where prey is in abundance. With an insatiable appetite, heightened senses, and skin impervious to bullets, Scar kills everything that crosses his path. His reign of terror puts him at war with the island sheriff, Nick Piatt. With the body count rising, Nick vows to protect his island community from the vicious threat. With the aid of a marine biologist, a rookie deputy, and a bad-tempered fisherman, Nick leads a crusade against Scar, as well as the ruthless scientist who created him.”
– Back cover blurb
I love to read, especially horror novels. The problem is that I just don’t have enough time to read everything I want to read. Running a website, watching horror movies, and having a family take up the vast majority of my time. But when I can find the time to read, I really love books about monsters. Vampires, werewolves, bigfoot, and sharks are my go-to. So when I see a newer novel about a killer shark, it catches my attention pretty quickly.
I’ve had a fascination with sharks ever since I was a kid and watched Jaws for the first time. After seeing that film my love of sharks exploded and I gobbled up anything related to sharks I could get my hands on. Documentaries – Shark Week, films, and books were all part of my pallet. I ran across an ad for Michael Cole’s newer novel, Scar, and I had to check it out.
As it is, any film or book about a killer shark will inevitably be compared to the granddaddy of them all, Jaws. This is to be expected. While Scar is about a 32 foot genetically enhanced shark crossed between a Megalodon and a Great White who escapes captivity and terrorizes a small tourist town on the American East Coast. There is really no similarity to Jaws other than it being a huge shark that looks for food in a small tourist town, and maybe a few somewhat similar characters.
Speaking of the book’s characters – most are enjoyable and fairly well written, even if similar to some of the Jaws characters. The main protagonist is small-town sheriff Nick Piatt. He’s young, good-looking, and everyone likes him. He’s also a gun enthusiast and a crack shot.
Nick’s love interest is marine biologist Lisa Robinson. She’s been stationed at Cross Point for the last few months doing research with a pod of Orcas, which come into play later in the novel. Nick and Lisa have a burgeoning relationship and are the two characters readers will likely be most relatable.
Deputy David Hummer is a rookie cop in the department. He’s new in town and not sure what he wants to do with his life. He looks up to Sheriff Piatt as a mentor.
Barney Grey is a local fisherman who’s hated by all who crosses his path. He hates everyone and everything in life. He’s a drunkard who uses illegal tactics in his fishing business. He’s a truly deplorable character who some might root for towards the end of the book. I did.
Lisa’s Orca pod of killer whales are also characters in their own right.
Finally, we have the main antagonist, Olivia Zoller. She is the geneticist responsible for splicing the genes of an extinct Megalodon with a great white shark, along with adding new characteristics to the shark including skin invulnerability and a never-ending drive for food and killing. She works for a shadowy organization willing to stop at nothing to get what they want.
For me, Scar is not the greatest novel ever written, but it was really fun. It had a lot of shark action and was thrilling in all the right parts. I cared about the characters and one even changed from the beginning and somewhat redeemed him or herself.
The shark attack scenes are savage and full of great gore. Fans of the shark horror sub-genre will not be disappointed with Scar. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was an easy, fun read, and a real page-turner. Although it may not be a scientifically sound premise and some things may not be too believable, if you just use your suspension of disbelief, you’ll be just fine. It’s not high art, just a pulpy, popcorn read that won’t disappoint most.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!