Review: Megalodon in Paradise by Hunter Shea

Island life can be deadly.

For Ollie Arias, owning an island in Micronesia is beyond his wildest dreams. Moving his best friends from college to share his dream…priceless. A little urban exploration of the abandoned military lab unearths strange, dark secrets. And awakens a slumbering beast that has gone decades without food. Ollie and his pals have unwittingly unleashed a deadly infection above, and a prehistoric killing machine below. The storm of the century is headed their way. Paradise has never been so close to hell.

Megalodon in Paradise by Hunter Shea. Published by Severed Press, July 2017. Kindle edition, 244 pages.

I want to give Hunter Shea a quick shout out and a big thank you for this book! I love this author, he really gets the whole creature feature fandom. He is by far my favorite modern day creature horror author. ❤ At the start of the 2020 lock down, Hunter gave out free ebooks to his fans so they could have something fun to read. I think there were like 5 different books to choose from? That was so cool of him to reach out to his fans like that. He is a great guy and he really went out of his way to stay in touch with his fans and give them stuff to do to take their minds off of all the crazy stuff IRL. Not only did he give out a free book, but he also had a lot of zoom hang outs, videos and monster movies to watch “together”. He did all of this even though he lives in a location that was hammered hard at the start of the whole covid thing and even had family members getting sick, yet he still kept up with fans and checked that we were doing well and keeping us all hanging in there together. This dude is seriously awesome. Buy his books.

So! On to the story, huh? Let’s kick off Shark Week with an extremely fun book, Magalodon in Paradise! I mean… come on! That title and cover is epic! 😀 The cover really is perfect for this story. It completely captures the whole vibe. Island life interrupted by a big ass shark!

I haven’t read all of Shea’s books – yet- but I have read several of them. This book, more then any others I’ve read so far, has a lot of little easter eggs in it. By that I mean that he drops a couple of innocent comments that are references to past books of his. I was extremely happy with the reference to his book, The Montauk Monster. Not gonna spoil either books for you, but the way Montauk ended (back in 2014), I wasn’t sure if ANYONE was going to be left alive. Ever since I had first read that book, in the back dark, cobwebbed corners of my brain, I kept wondering about that insane book and how it ended. Super awesome ending, but it was abrupt and ambiguous about what happened next. So it made me super happy that the author had a simple one liner follow up that was satisfying. That was all I needed. Thank you, Shea!

Megalodon in Paradise is CRAZY! Four friends try to live out a utopia island life style after the main character won the lottery. Who hasn’t dreamed of buying an island if you were a billionaire? If the indigenous people on the near by islands warn you that this is a bad or evil island…. maybe listen to them. Of course our friends here did not worry too much about this vacant perfect island that was super cheap.

I really felt for these characters, honestly. Four old friends who fell out of touch over some angry outbursts and they honestly were all trying to make an effort to get their friendships back. These characters felt so normal. And that was awesome! They all had normal, every day people flaws and problems. They had every day people hobbies. They easily felt like people you would know in your own life. Even though the plot is bananas, you could easily connect with the common human qualities of these characters.

Lost relationships and trying to correct mistakes are a heavy theme throughout Megalodon in Paradise. How can you not feel for that? Everyone has had a friend they’ve lost touch with years ago and have wanted to reach out again. Maybe you don’t know where they are or maybe it’s too awkward now. Everyone has had past mistakes they wish they could correct. Whatever the case is, I really wanted to see these friends get back together.

Of course we know that’s probably not gonna happen because we need bait…. I mean victims… for our megalodon. But it wasn’t just a megalodon, ooooooh no. It is a fun and disgusting government (typical governments!) science project. I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but it got pretty icky! 😀 Like, ewwwwwwww! But I loved it! It was a surprise I wasn’t expecting and I enjoyed every second of watching it unfold.

Hunter Shea never shies away from icky gore or creative, blood soaked deaths. I feel like he knows his audience very well. He knows we are all B-movie lovers just like him, and he gives us stories exactly like what we want. So, while I love his work, if you are squeamish or not a fan of crazy gory deaths, his books might not be for you. I love it. 😀

The story needed more shark, though, but I really can’t complain too much. It was super fun and I was very entertained. I’d love to see SYFY channel make this into a movie. Of course, I say that about every book I read from Shea. 😀

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