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Natural Selection (2006)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Natural Selection (2006) Author: Dave Freedman

This new hardcover is marketed like a James Rollins, Michael Crichton or Steve Alten MEG book, which did indeed work for me picking it up and reading it. Yet, it's just a 'so so' horror/sci-fi thriller.

The book is about the development of this strange new human predator, a previously undiscovered species of Mantaray-like sea creatures adapting to the air. The author goes into great deal and makes it seem entirely plausible that a type of Manta (called a DevilRay) could adapt to not only adapting to the surface, but to the air, like a living Stealth Bomber. At first I thought, a killer Manta, I never heard of anyone being killed by a stingray at all. Ironically, when I finished the book on Monday morning (August 4th) and turned on the television, that 'Crocodile Hunter' guy was just killed by a Stingray.

Anyways, while the animal description works the character development is stereotypical, with the scientist/hero caught up in his work, who then begins to have feelings for a female co-worker. There's even the evil rich guy who ends up getting what he deserves. But what made me cringe was having the African-American hunter be 1/8th Native American, which, of course, gave him those 'in touch with nature' supernatural powers.

NATURAL SELECTION has a cool new monster but is otherwise forgettable.

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