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The swarm is a superb and exciting read with lots and lots of twists all the way through.I would of liked to say that i couldn"t put it down but that was not the case.Its a very scientific and its very believable to me ,making me think this could actually happen to this planet in the future.The swarm was very eye opening to me,and even though it took me some time to get through i'm very glad i read this book and hope anyone out there that reads this book will enjoy it as much as i did.
The swarm is all about deep-sea amoebas that have actually been around since the pre-cabrian time,and are trying to destroy the planet and everyone on it.They start by turning the creatures in the ocean against man kind, and also causing lots of other natural disasters all over the globe.The team are led by a red wine lover norwegian called sigur johanson,a whale expert leon anawak,his friends jack (greywolf)o'bannon and alicia delaware and many more.Their are also a few characters you dislike from the beginning, and you find out why as you get further through the book.The deep-sea amoebas are controlling the whales and shark.The big whales are attacking and sinking boats,while the orcas are eating the people in them.Theirs new species of worms that are causing havoc in the ocean,white crabs that are attacking on land with toxic green jelly in them and exploding lobsters with green jelly in the as well.Theres also a tsunami that kills a hell of a lotof people in europe, and the tide and currents are changing.Its a race against time to stop the end of the world.
F. Schätzing (2006) The Swarm [English translation from German by Sally-Ann Spencer]. Hodder Paperbacks. pp.ix + 881. ISBN 978-0-340-8952-5
Type: Fiction / Sci-Fi
Publisher's price: £8.99 but I got it cheaper from Amazon.
This book is considered one of Germany's biggest modern best-sellers and it has sold over 2 million copies in its original German (Der Schwarm). It has received praise by - among others - Der Spiegel, Financial Times, Stern and notably a Biology Professor at UCL.
Something is going terribly wrong with sea creatures. Normally peaceful species are attacking fishermen and ships, huge jelly-fish become more aggressive and fatal, weird species are appearing. The two main characters, Sigur Johanson, a marine biologist and professor at a Norway University, and Dr Leon Anawak, an Inuit who tries to forget his origins and works with whales at Vancouver, are among the first to observe the strange phenomena, and later work with an international team of scientists to try and find a solution.
The book also has a plethora of secondary characters, namely Tina Land, who works for the oil company 'Statoil', the student Alicia Delaware, the activist Jack 'Greywolf' O'Bannon, Dr Gerhard Brohmann, Major Salomon Peak, the journalist Karen Weaver, General Commander Judith Li, Dr Samantha Crowe, Murray Shankar, Sue Oliviera, Berman Roche, Jack Vanderbilt, and Luther Roscovitz, to name some.
We could call this type of book an 'eco-thriller'. The book has a prologue, five parts and an epilogue. The chapters are arranged in a temporal order (e.g. "12 April") with spatial sub-sections and headings (e.g. "Trondheim, Norway").
The writer has done a lot of research on the topics of marine biology and deep sea oil extraction, and he makes sure we know it by a long list of acknowledgements which includes many scientists. As a result, he grasps every opportunity to fill the book with facts or factoids. The advantage is that you actually learn quite a bit that way and the science backs up his fictional parts making them more believable. The disadvantage is that you end up feeling you are attending a university lecture instead of reading a fictional thriller. Not all the characters are equally developed and many of them behave and sound like living encyclopaedias!
Finally, what I mostly disliked in this book was the fact that it is very scientific and info-based in the first parts, but towards the end the author tries to give it a 'disaster movie' appeal (maybe because he does hope it becomes a movie) which is silly and out of line.