Book - 2011
Gray is already bigger than all the other sharks in his clan, or shiver. He can't stop growing, and when his hunger gets him into trouble, he's banished from the reef with his best friend Barkley. Their hunt for food forces them to journey deep into Goblin Shiver territory, where they have no choice but to join the shiver. They'll help fight against rival sharks in return for training, protection, and food. But who can Gray and Barkley trust when the ocean is full of slippery fish... and one mistake means you're someone else's dinner?
What should be a can't-miss concept (shark tribes warring for territorial rights and positions of power) somehow does, mostly due to tired dialogue and a forced aquatic vocabulary. Screenwriter and first-time novelist Altbacker quickly establishes and makes extensive use of underwater lore and lingo—Big Blue is the open ocean, green-greenie are kelp beds, chop-chop denotes the ocean's surface—that readers will find either fun or babyish, but that mostly feels intrusive (particularly in the inclusion of cardinal directions in random words: "lEast" for lost, "Southdenly" for suddenly). After Gray, a feisty shark pup, is banished from his peaceful, reef-dwelling clan, or "shiver," he and his friend Barkley venture into Big Blue and form Rogue Shiver with a quartet of sharks they meet. As Rogue Shiver becomes embroiled in a clash between two larger shivers, a web of scheming, shifting allegiances, and questionable identities emerges; a final showdown upends the balance of power and hints at Gray's future ascendancy. Readers looking for action and playground-style undersea banter ("You all suck algae!") will find both in abundance, and for some that will be enough. Ages 9–12. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLCReview by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 4–7—Gray is a young reef shark growing up in Coral Shiver, one of the shark clans established in the sea in ancient times. The shivers rule the Big Blue, but they must be careful to avoid the "landsharks" who run the world above, hunting and devouring so many fish, including the mighty sharks. Gray, who is growing larger and larger, keeps sneaking off to hunt on his own—something he is as yet forbidden to do—until at last he is exiled from Coral Shiver. Gray's friend Barkley, a dogfish, soon joins him and they try to find a new clan. They encounter Goblin Shiver, which is a bit like a rough street gang ruled by tough-as-barnacles Goblin and sneaky Velenka, who has plans of her own to rule. The first volume of what will obviously become a long series, this story establishes, but doesn't develop, many threads. The result is a sketchy tale with underdeveloped characters and plot, and without a resolution.—Walter Minkel, Austin Public Library, TX [Page 93]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A young shark, Gray, and his best friend Barkley are exiled from the safety of their peaceful reef home and, with the ocean on the brink of chaos, will have to battle ferocious clans of sharks called shivers, or join them, to survive.Review by Publisher Summary 2
When environmental hazards and overfishing upset the delicate peace in the world's oceans, which are ruled by prehistoric shark clans, corruption and warfare threaten the survival of underwater societies, prompting young exiled reef shark Gray to unlock his destiny.Review by Publisher Summary 3
Since the dawn of time, prehistoric shark clans called Shivers have ruled over the earth's oceans, fierce protectors of all who swim. For eons, the Big Blue has prospered under Shiver Law, and the delicate balance of sea life kept sacred. Until now. Rising sea temperatures and overfishing have caused food to become scarce, and the battle for new hunting grounds has brought with it corruption and warfare. Now, with the ocean on the brink of chaos, a young reef shark named Gray - exiled from the safety of his peaceful reef home - must venture deep into Open Water to unlock the secrets of his destiny and bring peace back to the ocean. But first, he'll have to discover the truth about who - and what - he really is.