A shocking biological discovery. A previously unknown predatory species. Evolving just like the dinosaurs. Now. Today. Being forced out of its world and into man’s for a violent first encounter. Weaving science and thriller in a way not seen since Jurassic Park, Natural Selection introduces a phenomenally dangerous new species that is rapidly adapting in a way never before seen. A mystery. A chase. A vast expansive puzzle. A team of marine scientists is on the verge of making the most stunning discovery in the history of man.
That sounds pretty interesting right? And the cover, with its giant set of jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth, draws one in too.
The book has a lot of promise – a super-intelligent, carnivorous flying predator and a team of marine biologists out to learn about and later deal with them. Based on that, it sounded a lot like Steve Alten’s Meg series, which while absolutely fictional, were fun books to read. That’s about what I was expecting here – something plausible but fictional and a fair bit of gore and mayhem.
The fictional monster in Natural Selection is the Demon Ray – a massive intelligent ray forced from the depths that learns to fly AND breath air. I found this unlikely. Sure evolution occurs, but two such quantum leaps in the same generation? It was simply too fast.
But that’s not the only problem with the book. Some reviews complain about paper-thin characters, poor dialogue, tc, but honestly, when you are reading a book like this, those are all secondary.
The biggest problem is that the monster doesn’t eat anyone until well into the book. When the big ‘hunt down the monster’ scene occurs, it’s a handful of scientists tracking it in a park? Seriously? If this thing is so dangerous, why aren’t they better armed or calling out the National Guard to assist them?
All in all, if you’re willing to suspend belief, it’s a fairly decent thriller. Personally, Freedman pushed too far and made it unbelievable.
Two stars out of five.