Short Take: “The Sea Below,” William Meikle

Rating: 4 out of 5

William Meikle’s horror adventure The Sea Below is the sequel to his The Land Below. In that book, two men wanted to search for a treasure supposed to be underground. They hired a “bodyguard,” who was retired military man Danny, and local shepherd Stefan (along with his German Shepherd Elsa) decided to come with them to help out. That expedition didn’t end well–one of the two men died, and they couldn’t bring the treasure home. Now the remaining man, Ed, has decided to go back to the same underground area they were in before. He brought better supplies and equipment, as well as a couple of helpers. When he didn’t come back after a couple of days, Stefan sent word to Danny that he needed his help to find them. Thanks to the equipment Ed brought, they’re able to quickly make their way through the underground tunnels–only to find themselves stranded by flooding. But at least they found Ed! Since they can’t find a way back out, they all set off across an underground sea to look for another exit. Unfortunately for them, the huge cavern they’re in has quite a few dangerous inhabitants! There are underwater monsters, vicious baboon-like creatures, and giant bats, just to start with–and there are signs that the cavern once was home to intelligent life.

I’m having a little bit of difficulty with some of the types of lifeforms that are present in that cavern. While there’s apparently vegetation to act as food for relevant parts of the ecosystem, I’m not quite sure how it all works out without sunlight and photosynthesis. I’m not sure why this is bothering me when I don’t seem to have a problem with six-limbed pale baboons, but well, the mind does what the mind does.

Some of the dangers surprised me, which was fun. But unfortunately the book ends in the middle of the story. Luckily the book does say that the adventure will be continued in the next book. I will certainly look forward to seeing how that next installment continues the tale!

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