Review: Sharcano / Author: Jose Prendes / Publisher: Lightning Source UK / Release Date: Out Now
We’re gonna go out on a limb and guess that your initial thoughts were ones of dread and disbelief that the recent trend of ridiculous shark movies Super Shark, Sharknado, Ghost Shark and Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark has now transcended over to the world of the written word. Whilst you’d be correct in this presumption – the main plot of Sharcano does centre on sharks made of molten magma, after all – this completely off-the-wall idea actually works a hell of a lot better in a novel than most of its contemporaries do on screen.
As various events and acts of destruction point to some sort of biblical end for the planet, we find our story tied to cock-sure reporter Mick Cathcart and marine biologist Agnes Brach as they search for answers. Going out on a limb, we can say that the one thing that they didn’t expect to find is a volcano that begins to fire out sharks made of molten lava. In an instance of ‘tough shit’ for them, that’s exactly what they come across. With the assistance of a small band of supporting characters, Mick and Agnes have to put a stop to these over-cooked creatures before the whole world is destroyed.
Yes, Sharcano definitely has a unique premise but author Jose Prendes, who also happened to pen the script for Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, delivers a story that is fluid, witty, detailed and an easy read. In some ways, it’s impossible not to compare Sharcano to those equally odd movies with similar story arcs, but the imagination is a wonderful tool. Whereas a lot of the problem with the low-budget, bizarre shark movies out there revolves around performance and horrendous effects work, Sharcano’s format removes these issues. It’s down to you, faithful reader, to make Sharcano work; the story certainly holds up its part of the bargain.
The first of an apparent ‘sharkpocalypse’ trilogy – Sharks of the Living Dead is up next – Sharcano is a surprisingly strong story that makes you give credence to the idea that maybe the fodder that usually ends up as a laughable SyFy movie is far more suited to a novel format. Don’t instinctively rush to throw Sharcano into the ocean of ludicrously bad shark tales out there, as we’re given a story that sees the blood-soaked, descriptive destruction of Peter Benchley meet the charm and humour of Bruce Campbell. Prendes’ potentially ridiculous premise delivers a smart, funny, action-filled dip into the fiery depths of hell, balancing well-developed characters, clever plot points, references aplenty and just the right amount of crazy. If this is the start of the sharkpocalypse, consider us happy to be along for the ride.