The Night Boat by Robert McCammon

No Series
HORROR

rating

From the living hell of her watery grave she rises again...
THE NIGHT BOAT

Deep under the calm water of a Caribbean lagoon, salvage diver David Moore discovers a sunken Nazi U-boat entombed in the sand. A mysterious relic from the last war. Slowly, the U-boat rises from the depths laden with a long-dead crew, cancerous with rot, mummified for eternity.

Or so Moore thought.

UNTIL HE HEARD THE DEEP HOLLOW BOOM OF SOMETHING HAMMERING WITH FEVERISH INTENSITY...SOMETHING DESPERATELY TRYING TO GET OUT!

Beneath the waves she will seduce the living and devour the dead...
THE NIGHT BOAT

The premise and idea of this is fascinating - there were over 700 sunken German submarines, and to have one submerged in sand and released with a monstrous crew? Epic idea for a horror story set on an island. Throw in some doses of voodoo, a creepy thing underdone that I adore? Even better formula in the mixing. Unfortunately all these didn't combine well. I kept thinking when reading The Night Boat that it would have rocked as a short story or slim novella, but just wasn't packing enough punch for a book.

While not long at under 300 pages, The Night Boat still dragged its anchor around too much to stay interesting. A story like this should fascinate, but I kept growing bored. I like the slow and steadily building ominous pace as much as any horror fan, and that's where the book worked its strongest magic. Still, when things finally happen it wasn't up to McCammon's usual flair of writing. Dare I say some of the scenes were actually written poorly? Much more could have been done with the sea's naturally chilling setting. There were some slightly eerie scenes, but the potential this book had just wasn't met.

It didn't help characterization fell short too. I couldn't care about anyone much. They sort of blended together with the dialogue of capital letters when people emphasized or shouted. No true traits of individualism breached the hull of this book.

I'm a fan of McCammon but ultimately this one was flat. The air was let out of the story way too soon. And yes, I enjoy making cheesy water-related jokes in my reviews; don't shoot me over it. I read it was his second book - not published, but written - so this is perhaps why. Some editing to inject life and color into it would bring it afloat again. 




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