"This book is fantastic! Ghostie is a menacing monster at the beginning of the book, but Briar Mitchell's story telling skills made me actually cheer for the big ass shark at the end. It was a wonderful read." - Kate Franklin, author of The Tattooed Mermaid
"Wow! What a page turner. Could not stop reading till the very end. Love the suspense and would recommend it highly. Would enjoy more adventures of this type." - Dolores Caufield
"A fun quick summer read perfect for a weekend by the pool. The adventure rips along at a rapid clip with explosive action brightened by flashes of humor. The book introduced me to a variety of intriguing real life sea creatures from goblin sharks to megamouth sharks. The author's love of animals is clear from her handling of a variety of creatures from an imperiled bulldog to a pod of whales. By the end, I even felt sympathy for the predatory monster of the title." - Rusty Inkwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, sexy, scary, and on shark-loving September 4, 2014
By CT Phipps
Big Ass Shark has one of the best titles I've seen in recent years. It's a rare title that manages to explain everything you need to know about a book in three words. Big Ass Shark says what the book is about, shows you the author has a sense of humor, and is pretty damn memorable. All of the authors I've talked to have mentioned one of the most important qualities of a title is to be something which sticks in your head enough that you remember it long enough to order it at the bookstore (or online).The premise of the book is almost self-explanatory. There is a shark, which is extremely big. One might even say big-ass. What is surprising is this particular example of the species is not the kind of underwater assassin depicted by Jaws and its shameless imitators. I went into this book expecting a gory slaughterfest the like of Deep Blue Sea and got, instead, a book which treats its titular creature with dignity and respect.
Way to surprise me Briar Lee Mitchell.
The premise of the book is Misty Witlow, an adorkable young aspiring actress in L.A (which the book lampshades is a group in the millions), spots the world's largest shark just off a beach where she's filming a video message for her mother. After causing a minor panic, Misty becomes the darling of the science community due to both her footage and the tooth which proves the continuing existence of megalodons.A lesser writer would have left it there with the big ass shark (called "Ghostie" in the book) preying on unsuspecting humans it's decided to make its favorite prey. There's even a wild theory by one of the scientists that Ghostie could have been preying on humans for a long time but no one would notice because it wouldn't leave any survivors. A media frenzy begins as everyone flocks to capture or kill Ghostie like a modern-day Moby Dick.Where the book could have gone right, Briar Lee Mitchell chooses to go left. At the end of the day, Ghostie is not a monster. She's not even a feral or deranged shark. No, she is simply an animal.
While there is much terror about what Ghostie can potentially do, the only victims of the shark turn out to be those individuals who deliberately antagonize the animal or present itself in a way that can be mistaken as prey.In other words, just like in real-life.Big Ass Shark is an environmental parable masquerading as a horror novel, a very good horror novel, with a side bit of mass-media satire. Ghostie is interesting and captures the public's attention, though it's implied it wouldn't last for more than a week, which creates a circus around the creature. People want to capture, kill, or simply harass the shark to the point they're putting themselves or those around them in danger. Misty Witlow, showing more environmental conscience than most, is horrified when some moronic would-be poachers kill whales to try and lure the massive beast out.I don't agree with all of the book's premise.
The ending of the novel implies it is probably better for humanity to avoid studying the environment if all human beings can do to it is destroy, but I believe education about the oceans is one of the best ways to make sure it survives for future generations to appreciate. Still, I have to say I'm pleased that there's a "shark novel" where the author is squarely on the side of the shark.In conclusion, while not a perfect novel, I really liked Big Ass Shark. The protagonist is a fun heroine with a sense of humor and likable personality. I wouldn't mind being friends with someone like her in real life. I approve of the environmental message and also enjoy the dramatics surrounding Ghostie's discovery. In short, I like this book and recommend it to both horror fans as well as those who love sharks. Here's hoping we'll be seeing Big Ass Bear or Big Ass Squid sometime in the near future.8.5/10