December 24, 2015

Review: The Fin: Fate, is Only Waist Weep... by Matthew Danza

Title: The Fin: Fate, is Only Waist Deep...

Author: Matthew Danza 

Publisher: Self-published

Date of Publication: 2015

Number of Pages: 78

Disclaimer: The author provided me a copy of his book in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much!


Lee Kager, her twin brother James, their best friend Adam and their father have been shipwrecked on a sandbar near the shores of Horseshoe Island. Stranded several miles from the local shore with no means of communication and the ocean’s tide rising fast, the only thing standing between them and the shore is a shark with an appetite for human flesh. Join their quest for survival as they fight their way to shore. Inspired by the blockbuster hit, Jaws. Read the book before you go swimming, and know that fate, is only waist deep.


I have never read a book about a shark attack, not even Jaws. Maybe because I live in a country where shark sightings are scarce and attacks are even scarcer. But this fact didn't stop me from picking up The Fin, so this novel was my introduction to this particular theme.

The story is quite simple. Lee, our protagonist, goes fishing with her brother, father and best friend. But in a moment when they don't pay attention, they hit a sandbar and so their boat is gradually sinking. As they try to find a way to inform somebody that they need help, due to lack of signal and broken radio, the first attack happens. As it's only natural, their panic grows and so they desperately try to find a way to survive.

But there is one problem. About half of the book is just setup. We get to know our characters, Lee's relationship with each one of them, her concern about the future and all these things that make us feel for her. Normally, this is one thing that I look for in a novel, but here I felt that I needed less, or, at least, I needed the action to come earlier. Apart from that, once the boat hits the sandbar it becomes really interesting and I couldn't really put it down. You feel the danger they are in and you know that they only have a few hours before the tide sinks the boat completely. Moreover, they are hungry and thirsty and shocked. Everything is against them!

As I've already said, Lee is well-developed. We learn about her plans for the future, how she feels about the island she grew up and her relationship with the other three characters. I particularly understand her need to leave the island. I felt really close to her and that's why I felt sorry for her and anxious about her survival. But I could use more information about the other three characters, Lee's brother James, their friend Adam and the twin's father. There are some nice parts where they recall stories of the past that let glimpses of their characters reach us and I'd love to discover more.

The Fin is a short novel, but a well-written one. Except for the issues I've already stated, it's a novel with great action. I am a little unsure about the first half of it, some parts of the conversations between the characters felt forced, but once the shark actually appears the thrill is there. It was a great introduction to shark attacks and I'm certainly glad that I've read it.

So, my advice is...

Swim Among the Sharks!   


  1. Interesting! I'll be honest and say that the cover and name (at least when shortened to The Fin; the entire title as a whole is actually very good, I think) wouldn't have drawn my attention to this book. But that's really just personal preference. The story sounds like a fun one, and one that - if I read more often - I would probably give a go.

    Merry Christmas, Aeriko! I wish you a happy holiday season and a fantastic New Year!

    1. Merry Christmas! It certainly was a fun read. Plus it was something totally different for me :)


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