*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*
Title: Bait: A Novel
Author: J. Kent Messum
Bait was described to me as a combination of The Hunger Games and Jaws. I loved The Hunger Games and though I’ve never read Jaws I did love the film adaption. With that description, I figured that Bait would either be really good, or really cheesy. I was hoping for the former, but really expected the latter.
Thankfully, I thought it was a pretty good read. The Prologue really sets the stage and lets you know that Messum isn’t going to hold back with the blood and the gore that comes when you’re dealing with sharks, but it doesn’t feel excessive. There’s enough description to help the reader see it without making them feel sick to their stomach.
The reader is introduced to the characters as they’re waking up on the island. As they wake up Messum switches from the current time to the past and what their lives were like a few days earlier. I really liked this approach. It helped me get to know one character at a time and helped me decide who to root for. Cause who doesn’t want to have someone to cheer on when reading a book like this? I can’t say that I really liked any of the characters, but that was mainly because they’re all heroin addicts who are self absorbed and focused on their own self preservation, but I did hope that a few of them would make it out okay so they could turn their lives around
I thought Messum provided a believable reason as to why the four lurking shadows are putting these characters through the torture of being stranded on an island in shark infested waters. I didn’t agree with it. They’re a bit psycho even. But there was a reason behind the madness and I liked that. I would have hated it if I ended the book thinking, “What was the point of all of that?” There is a point, no matter how twisted.
There is a lot language, but that’s to be expected from the type of characters you’re reading about so it didn’t bother me. And the ending was wrapped up enough that as a reader you aren’t left hanging and feeling dissatisfied. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fast page turner.
One reader will win a copy of Bait!