SAVE THE WHALES PLEASE by Konrad Karl Gatien & Sreescanda
“The two women and four men lifted scarves over their nostrils and breathed through their mouths as they steered their Zodiac ponderously between the mammoth corpses bloated with air. The heat from the dead whales released tiny red geysers of blood. More oozed from open harpoon wounds. Still more flooded from their bellies laid open by grenades. The rich, wet, fatty stench wafted up in a visible, nauseating pink mist. Jan stopped alongside the loosely flapping jaw of a cow. Her small teats dragged in a dense red sea. The explosion from a grenade-tipped harpoon had ripped a tunnel through her blubber, flesh and organs, all the way to an unborn calf. The fetus was horribly burned and the cow’s long vagina oozed a river of blood.”
Reviewed by Kirstin Merrihew (MAY 08, 2009)
Jan Everett is First Lady of the United States. She is also a fiercely dedicated Save the Whales activist.¬†But she doesn’t safely limit herself to¬†office fundraising and¬†the rubber chicken¬†speech circuit. She¬†brings the same total commitment to testifying¬†before the¬†International Whaling Commission¬†on behalf of a¬†total ban on whale¬†hunts¬†as she does to personally sailing¬†with and even leading crews that¬†confront, harry,¬†and¬†seek to sink the pelagic whaling fleets.
In Washington,¬†the husband from whom¬†Jan is gradually¬†being distanced emotionally as well as geographically,¬†President Carsten Everett,¬†contends with an uphill reelection bid, the controlling schemes of his¬†ruthless chief of staff,¬†a¬†fifteen trillion dollar U.S. debt to other countries that could tank the economy, and the¬†consequences of¬†his wife’s¬†radical daring-do sea exploits (which¬†spread¬†fallout far and wide).
Meanwhile, re-energized powerhouse Japan, which holds a large percentage of¬†outstanding U.S. Treasury bonds¬†and is also an¬†unrepentant whaling nation,¬†has plans for both the¬†Everetts. And a¬†Norwegian whaling tycoon¬†concocts his own¬†means of neutralizing¬†Jan….
Oh, and in the swirl of battling the bad guys, Jan encounters¬†hardened captain Arlov Vesprhein, and these two tough, extreme people posture and clash, bound by somewhat stereotyped sexual tension as¬†Save the Whales Please¬†launches an amazing, techno-herded leviathan drive.¬†
Save the Whales Please¬†mixes high-stakes whaling drama with quite sophisticated international¬†plotting by players in Tokyo, Washington, the North Pacific, and Europe. The novel takes us into boardrooms and¬†back rooms, onto ship bridges and bloody slaughter platforms, and into the midst of¬†maneuvering politicians and vicious pirates (ripped from the headlines, no?). In fact, a number of events that have either already happened¬†or could very possibly occur in¬†the not too distant¬†real world¬†also¬†sharpen this novel’s suspenseful edge. The difference¬†between our reality and the novel’s¬†though is that nearly everything in¬†Save the Whales Please¬†links to novel’s centerpieces: whaling…and¬†its uncompromising opponents.
The novel whisks cinematically from one short scene to another like the action blockbuster prose “movie” it is. Its nail biting opening scenes make one wonder if the authors haven’t shot their biggest wad very prematurely. But not to worry. Konrad Karl Gatien and Sreescanda (who also write for the big and little screens) skillfully pepper the story with limited victories on the various sides, only to then pose new obstacles and dangers. The culmination crescendos, pulling numerous plot threads together and piling peril upon peril to surprise even the jaded reader with its audacity.¬†
Of course, no real First Lady would have the latitude Jan Everett does. Her handlers and protection detail would preempt the suicidal chances Jan takes, no matter how urgent the crusade. But one can adapt agreeably to this creative license.¬†
The novel’s¬†myriad facts about whales (blue,¬†Orca, minke,¬†etc.)¬† –, their pods, their songs, their intelligence, their¬†sonar, and their migration habits —¬†enrich the reader’s knowledge. There is also an abundance of statistical, historical, and practical information about the nuts and bolts of whaling. Did you know, for instance, that underwater sonar blasts are suspected for causing deafness, brain bleeding, and beaching in whales and dolphins?¬†Or that whales shed their skins much as lizards do?¬†Did you know a whale is hunted and killed every ninety minutes?¬†Does it stun you that¬†grenades were and¬†apparently continue to¬†tear whales apart? Did you know¬†whale meat is intensely prized in some cultures?¬†Save the Whales Please¬†acutely reminds us that these majestic and still mysterious creatures could still be hunted (or otherwise mortally wounded) to extinction.¬†
Save the Whales Please¬†is formulaic, but in a brash, exhilarating, Clive Cusslerian manner. Especially for those who are intrigued by whales and the human struggle over them, this is an opportunity to be both educated and breathlessly entertained.¬†
|AMAZON READER RATING:||from 5 readers|
|PUBLISHER:||Kunati Inc. (April 1, 2009)|
|AMAZON PAGE:||Save the Whales Please|
|AUTHOR WEBSITE:||Konrad Karl Gatien & Sreescanda|
|EXTRAS:||Kunati feature review|
|MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION:||More whale stories:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
Fluke, Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
People of the Whale by Linda Hogan
Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
- Save the Whales Please (April 2009)