22 October 2012

Review: Wave by Wil Mara

Wave by Wil Mara

Published: 28 January 2005

Pages: 295 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Thriller, Natural Disaster

Source: Own library

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Synopsis (Goodreads)

It s a beautiful day on the New Jersey shore. The residents of Long Beach Island a narrow strip of land connected to the mainland by a single bridge are going about their daily routines, enjoying the lovely weather.

They have no idea that far out to sea, a plane carrying a nuclear device has crashed. The resultant explosion triggers a massive underwater landslide . . . and a massive tsunami forms, heading straight for Long Beach Island.

By the time anyone realizes the water is coming, it s almost too late. The National Guard is deployed on the mainland, since the fast-approaching thirty-foot-high wall of water will flatten everything on the island. Terrified residents stream toward the slender lifeline of the bridge, causing the island s first and last major traffic jam.

In the frantic struggle to reach safety, strangers offer help to people they ve never seen before and neighbors turn against neighbors. Some cannot decide which precious possessions must be saved, and so take nothing or refuse to leave. Others attempt to profit from the panic, looting abandoned homes and businesses.

Time is running out. The first wave will hit in less than three hours.

My Thoughts

I love me a good disaster novel - terror, destruction, action - yes please! So when I picked up Wave, I was pretty excited to get reading. 

However, although Wave is a quick read, it wasn't exactly what I expected. Yes, there was the varied cast of characters, the build up to the tsunami was well thought out, some science gave the plot a backbone, but I found that I didn't actually LIKE any of the characters - and in any kind of disaster novel, if you don't care about the characters as a reader, the tension just isn't there.

Firstly, a large part of the character story-line revolved around the corrupt mayor of Long Beach Island, and the political aspect is just not my thing. I found myself skimming over large parts of the narrative focusing on these characters, because I simply wasn't interested in what was happening to them.

The young lovers were sweet but the boyfriend was infuriating - reading about his emotional issues meant that he came across as a whining, insecure boy rather than a man that I cared about. Probably the only character that I actually found interesting was the slobby trailer trash girl who had an addiction to junk food and Jerry Springer, and pretty much did every stupid thing possible in the face of impending doom.

And the actual tsunami itself doesn't actually happen until the very end of the book - and although I appreciated that the author was trying to build tension, in the end it actually made the pivotal part of the story, the tsunami and the aftermath feel incredibly rushed.

I don't want to say that Wave is a bad book, because it certainly isn't. The writing is good, the science is well-balanced and the scenario is pretty plausible. It just wasn't what I was expecting, nor what I look for in a good disaster novel - ultimately this just wasn't the book for me.


  1. Such a pity, when the author rushes through the best part, Kat! Maybe with better editing that wouldn't have happened. Thanks for the review!

  2. Oooh no. Yes, definitely in a disaster novel you have to come to give a damn about the characters or you just don't give a damn what happens to them. It's too bad this one didn't really hit the mark for you. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Just not my thing, but hey, there are loads of others out there!

  3. Yikes, I had this on my tbr list, but I'm taking it off now. If you don't care what happens to any of the characters, it's hard for the suspense of a disaster book to work. Also, if the disaster's at the very end, we don't get to properly enjoy the mayhem. I DEMAND SURVIVAL!

    1. And DESTRUCTION! Nothing like a good bit of survival, death and destruction in the morning.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...