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4.0 6
by Wil Mara

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Winner of the New Jersey Notable Book Award!

It’s a beautiful day on the New Jersey shore.  The residents of Long Beach Island—a narrow strip of land connected to the mainland by a single bridge—are going about their daily routines, enjoying the lovely weather. 

They have no idea that far out to sea, a plane carrying a nuclear device

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Wave 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago

Excerpt: 'Not surprisingly, some people seemed to lose their get-moving-now rationality in their panic. One middle-aged woman in Loveladies wouldn't leave until she'd picked out just the right outfit. A retired man in North Beach didn't bother telling his sleeping wife about the emergency until he'd loaded his beer-can collection into the back of his pickup truck. ... And in High Bar Harbor--one of the highest-risk areas due to its distance from the bridge--a thirty-something couple who had already been on the verge of divorce wasted ten precious minutes arguing over whose car would be left behind: his Jaguar or her BMW. In the end they left separately. Most business owners were willing to leave their wares behind, but many found the time to take copies of their insurance policies. Some had no insurance. One man who had invested almost ninety thousand dollars in a video-rental shop in Brighton Beach a few months earlier called one insurance company after another in the hopes of getting a quick policy together. He had no luck, and when he finally jumped into his car he was crying like a baby. ... News of the oncoming disaster spread first through the rest of the Garden State, then throughout the northeast corridor, and finally across the nation. America watched and waited.'

Premise: Passengers and crew on a transatlantic flight foil a terrorist's plans to detonate a nuclear device on American soil - at the cost of their own lives. The plane plunges into the Atlantic and deep in the ocean the bomb goes off, triggering a massive tsunami. The deadly wave heads for the nearby New Jersey coast.

First off, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the author is a good friend of mine. But you should also know that I always do my best to be an impartial critic.

Knowing as I do what a good storyteller Wil is in person, I picked up his first foray into the thriller genre with happy anticipation - and my expectations were met and exceeded. This is a fast-reading page-turner with compelling characters and flashes of brilliance. I've read a lot of disaster novels, both good and bad, and this one has got to be one of the best. First off, he's got his science right. That alone puts this one above the great majority of its competitors. Wil has consulted the world's experts on tsunamis, oceanography, and disaster preparedness. But unlike many others, he doesn't spend a lot of time showing off his research either. He lets you know what you need to know and gets on with telling the story.

And what a story! We've all been riveted and horrified, if not personally involved, with the terrible disaster in the Indian Ocean. Although this book was written before that event, you can't help thinking about it as you read. And wonder about what you would do if it happened here. Unlike many other cliche-ridden disaster novels, the characters (for the most part) are easy to identify with because they are not your standard types but real people. Wil grew up in the area and has based his characters on folks he knows. His gift for dialogue and characterization bring them to life in just a few phrases. It doesn't take long before you're scared for their lives as the waves get closer and closer.

So this summer, as your lying on a sunny, tranquil beach somewhere, even if it's far from Long Beach Island, pick up a little light summer reading - and get scared out of your bathing suit! You'll never watch the waves lapping the shore in the same way again.

Tina_T More than 1 year ago
Wave, by Wil Mara, is a well-written novel that seems so realistic it¿s frightening. Natural disasters are fascinating yet terrifying, and this book captures both with the threat of an oncoming tsunami. The huge build up keeps you turning the pages and wanting to know what will happen to everyone trying to evacuate the narrow barrier island. Being from New Jersey, it¿s especially interesting since I know the real places mentioned, but any reader who has ever visited or lived by the water could relate to this powerful, eminent threat. The variety of characters, from the likable ones you feel you know personally to the ones you love to hate because of their difficult personalities, make the story entertaining. Despite how you feel about the characters, you are desperate to know who will survive and who won¿t make it. It leaves readers thinking about what they would do in this scenario and makes you think twice about being prepared for a crisis.
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