Thursday, November 17, 2011
FIVE RUM JUNGLES AND FIVE GREAT WHITES FOR THIS AUTHOR
Shark and the Wolf
Predators and Prey
Author: Daniel D. Shields
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Creating a unique world inhabited by humans and animals possessing the same attributes both good and bad author Daniel D. Shields takes the reader on a journey into the mind of one man whose goal it is to enslave, capture, torture and orchestrate a spectacle so horrifying the viewer will shudder. Welcome to the world of slave trading and trafficking.
Our story begins in the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, East Africa as three African elephants, a family like any other family spending the day together, enjoying the watering hole, splashing and having fun, fall prey to wiles of a really dangerous man. Not sensing the danger they continue with their fun not realizing that the end was near and their lives as they knew it would be over. Billionaire, Shaw, a casino magnate was behind their capture and eyed the elephants. Not concerned about the young two-year old, his goal was to capture these two huge African elephants and bring them to Las Vegas as a star attraction in his new show Predators and Prey. Just the name of this show brings chills down my spine and I would hope yours too.
Shaw’s primary goal was to enslave and hunt animals for profit and for sport. Allowed to hunt on a protected game reserve this man’s power or shall I say the power of money went far to help him catch his preys. As the author vividly describes the capture of the two adult elephants and the child that is about to become an orphan, the reader wonders why anyone would want to be so cruel, what kind of sport he has in mind the fear and sadness that comes through as you hear the voices of the elephants and visualize the fright in the young child’s eyes.
Shark is a Great White whose physical attributes are more human than Shark. With the ability to speak and agility of a pool shark, he attempts to take on hyena or Old Jack as a competitor. Winning would proof glorious for just a moment and the end result would change his life and many others. Hyena is cold and his stare would definitely make you shudder. His countenance fierce and hard as he cons Shark into many games, loses and places one final bet or say we shall winner takes all. The wager is $1000 if Shark loses. The end result is a sucker bet that would cost Shark more than just the game if he lost. But, Hyena purposely loses and delivers the prize a postcard, which enlightens Shark as to where his girlfriend Vixen might be. What he does not know is what the real message is behind the card and what Old Jack has planned for not only him but also his friend DogZ Boy and many others.
As the reader learns more about Vixen, how Shark met her and his relationship not only with her but with her father, Gill, you begin to understand her motive for wanting to go on this treasure hunt in order to help her father keep his business. But, poor Vixen does not know the truth behind what Old Jack really has planned after they find the gold saber. Inflation exists even in the animal world. So, off Shark and Dog Z Boy go to find Vixen meeting many other creatures along the way. Some are honest and some like their tour guide have other motives in mind and are definitely not there to really help them, as you will learn. Finding the billiard hall where Vixen hustles her game and frequents they fall prey to the crowd that is there, Old Jack and his scam and they meet another man named Wolf.
Imagine animals and people living together in the same places as a natural occurrence. Shark senses something is not really right as he travels over the mountain to the billiard hall but does not know what. Hyenas are not to be trusted and Old Jack really conned him and Vixen too. This journey would not end the way you or I would want it to and the end result for Shark remains to be seen as he agrees to go on this treasure hunt. Seeing Vixen after her long absence he does not even think about not helping her find the treasure. But, before we continue let me explain that Hyena was not born a killer he was taught to be one by his mother. Lessons learned and hopefully she would be proud of him and his accomplishments. You see, Hyena works for Shaw and together they will take down more than just Shark.
Agreeing to the hunt he does not expect what will happen next. Dog Z Boy wakes up a little tipsy and falls prey to the hunters along with his date from the night before. Fear is not just in the air it is all around them. Shark goes on the hunt-leaving Vixen with Old Jack as he dives for the treasure. On his satellite phone Old Jack connects with Shaw and the end is near and the prey just might be caught. But, where is Wolf and what is his part in this since he, like Shark was a Ranger. Sensing something is not right Wolf goes in a different direction to see what exactly is happening but whose side is he on? What will Dog Z Boy’s fate be and what will happen to Shark when he finds out the truth? What about Vixen?
Loyalties are tested, truths come out and deceits run high in this novel that really makes the reader think and where animals are mistreated and humans are depicted as inhumane and much more. Shark cannot believe what is behind his capture and where he winds up as a result of Old Jack’s scheme and Vixen being taken in. Many animals are caged and the end result is worse than the dogfights or a boxing match without protective gear. Animals are forced into cages and auctioned of where Shaw and others purchased them and put them on display hoping they will fight, draw blood and one will die. Lion, bull, zebra or Stripes, Wolf and Shark are taken as well as Vixen the end result are vicious deaths and killings and Shark is beaten, Wolf comes to the rescue and winds up in captivity and the end result is they are fighting for their lives and hoping to set others free.
Placed on a train starved and beaten these animals can only hope that someone will free them and set the wheels in motion to take care of Shaw and Old Jack. Throughout the story the characters flashback on events in the events in their lives that brought them together, how they met and the memories they will never forget. Old Jack reflects with pride on how he was about to trick both Vixen and others to fall for his treasure hunt scam.
Shark is quite resourceful and with the help of Wolf that come up with a plan hoping to free the captured animals on the train. But, what happens next will surprise the reader. Freeing the animals was only the beginning but the end result would not be what he expected. Shaw is a cruel and inhumane man. Feeling justified in capturing animals for breeding, execution and mutilation he created this hotel with three separate arenas for his show. Imagine 500 thousand spectators and seats that require special elevators to bring you there at heights unknown to most people. Animals for sport yet they are quite clever and know how to handle situations as well as humans. Characters that are quite cunning, clever, deceitful and resourceful as one Shark and one Wolf go after their prey even though they are the ones wanted.
In order to save Vixen, her father’s business and his friends he makes a deal with Shaw to be the main attraction in his sadistic show of shows. Old Jack never saw it coming when Shaw decided he would fight Shark using the treasure or golden saber. Spectators in place. The roar of the crowd is loud. The animals are released and the blood bath begins. But, the end result will astound the reader, endear you to Shark, Wolf and even Stripes the zebra, when the final blows are cast and the injured are tolled and the deaths pile up, who will come out the victor? Will anyone survive what Shaw has in mind?
Animal rights, humane treatment and cruelty to animals are just some of the issues brought to light in this book. Whether it is people of different races, nationalities and countries at war the characters in this novel exhibit the same qualities and character traits that humans do when hate is prevalent and understanding takes a back seat. Loyalties are tested, friendships are cemented, friends are remembered in deep thoughts and fights are fought to help those they loved. Vixen and Shark: What will be their fate? Wolf and Stripes will they escape? What happens to Old Jack and Shaw will anyone take them down?
Jealousies, suspicions, deceit, revenge and hope all come through as author Daniel D. Shields takes the reader on a journey from East Africa all the way to Las Vegas and even the Florida Keys to prove that survival means not giving up on yourself, giving in to the enemy and hoping that Shark comes to you aide. This book is really unique in its plot, character development and definitely with an ending that will surprise the reader, some might close their eyes before reading the ending since it is quite graphic but the point is made and you will definitely not be able to put the book down once you start reading it. This is one great read and one great journey. As Shark, Wolf, Bull, Stripes and the rest take on some very difficult predators of their own. Who turns out to be the final Prey? You have to read the book to find out for yourself. I promised Shark I would not divulge the outcome. What are friends for!
Fran Lewis: reviewer
This book gets FIVE RUM JUNGLES AND FIVE GREAT WHITES