Ginger Nuts of Horror
Review: Sharkpunk Stories With Bite
I was 9-years-old when Jaws premiered and I remember my parents wouldn’t let me watch it because it was too scary. I didn’t get to see it until I was much older, but I remember seeing snippets here and there and I was intrigued about the man-eating beast that was the great white shark. Having never lived close to the ocean, there was no reason for me to fear this animal, but I always found myself glued to the television when news reports came on telling of a shark attack.
Fast forward a few years and my love for the animal grew exponentially. These beautiful creatures have a stigma attached to them, even today, despite all we know about them. Sharks, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise, are not looking to man to provide them with their next meal. According to science, we’re not very tasty to them, but that doesn’t stop people from being afraid.
When Sharkpunk came along, I couldn’t wait to dive in to its contents. I didn’t know what to expect. In horror, at least in my opinion, there’s a fine line between scariness and silliness. Would these stories be as captivating and terrifying as Jaws or as ridiculous as Sharknado?
Sharkpunk features authors such as Kit Cox, Laurel Stills, and David Tallerman, all coming together to provide us with their version of scary shark stories. Some nailed it while others failed to entertain. I won’t go into too much detail about each of the 20 stories, but I will provide you with some highlights and low points.
Peter and the Invisible Shark is the first story in the book and one of my favourites. As a boy, a model of a shark he encountered at an aquarium frightens Peter and as he grew, the shark continued to haunt him.
Blood in the Water, the second offering in Sharkpunk, is, in a word, creepy. A young girl is undergoing experiments and she’s changing little by little each day. I couldn’t believe how she ended up in the situation she was in and this little story even has a moral lesson in it that many should pay attention to.
Sharkadelic was another story that held my interest. An artist appears in a museum and of course, his subject is sharks. A reporter sent to cover the exhibit finds herself becoming part of his work, in a most terrifying way.
I can’t say I remember ever reading a story like Shirley. I won’t go into detail so as not to give anything away, but I liked the creativity behind this one. Britain has a new weapon and this story is both entertaining and heartbreaking.
The Shark in the Heart is another of my favourites, although it was a little odd. Noah’s parents buy him some fish for an outdoor pond. They think they’re getting koi, but one was a little different. When they realize they’ve inadvertently purchased a shark, things begin to get weird as Noah’s personality changes.
In almost every collection of stories, readers will like some more than others, for whatever reason. Sharkcop 2: Feeding Frenzy, The Lickspittle Leviathan, and Feast of the Shark God, for example, moved a little too slowly for me and were nothing special.
Overall, these stories were well written and edited. There were a few minor typos along the way, but none of them detracted from the stories. Sharkpunk was generally entertaining and each story will haunt you in a different way and may even change your opinion about sharks.