This is my kind of book. Its foundation carries the echo of a premise from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World : a geographic anomaly has caused tiny Hender’s Island to be isolated from the rest of the globe. However, rather than have evolution frozen in Dinosaur Time, Fahy has created an undisturbed evolutionary hothouse where new and more deadly paths have been taken. It still doesn’t bode well for the hapless sailors and scientists who accidentally discover this evolutionary gem and there is an inevitable clash between those who wish to study the new life (a few dedicated and brilliant scientists), those who wish to profit by it (a reality show called ‘SeaLife’), and those who would like the whole thing to just go away (the military).
The originality of the various creatures’ biology, morphology, and ecosystems is brilliant, making up in large part for a few of the more one-dimensional humans with which they interact (read shred), be they soldier or scientist. Some of the horrifying new discoveries are also illustrated as they would appear on the pages of a scientist’s field notebook (which does help to visualize such fantastic creations). Avid readers of the genre will be familiar with the question of whether or not we can accept life forms vastly different from our own but perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the plot is that those who ignore the tenets of science and humanity always get their comeuppance. Always. [No idea how “The Mummy” reference popped into my head but the (fingers crossed) movie of Fragment should be as much fun.]
For more information about Warren Fahy, check out his website.