Well, human life has done it now. After years of a warming climate the seas of the world started to flood. New York City had to build levees to stop major flooding but that doesn’t mean that the streets of the city aren’t usually under a few inches of water. Instead of checking train schedules commuters now have to check the high tide schedule. Instead of carrying sneakers to change into when their high heels get uncomfortable women and men have to carry galoshes to protect their shoes from the water. Most people now drive electric cars instead of the older gas guzzlers but trying to make changes is now way too late. The oceans are dying. There are very few fish around any more and seashells are worth more than gold because they too are disappearing.

Ness Wilde is one of the people who did his best to destroy the oceans. His great grandfather started Ocean Oil, which Ness is now CEO of. Ocean Oil, along with the many other oil companies, did their best to kill the oceans thus causing the climate problems, flooding, and dying seas situation that humanity is now going through. Good work gents.

Ness isn’t just the CEO of Ocean Oil but is also the largest seashell collector. His family made a lot of money by buying islands and then grabbing all the shells they could find. The Wilde family aren’t the only people collecting shells, everyone is but Ness Wilde, by far, is kind of the shell collectors. But something about what’s happening at his huge home in Maine is not legal. Shells are a rare commodity now and most of them are not perfect. They have chips in them but are still quite expensive. But Ness’s shells are perfect. No chips at all. They look as if the mollusks that lived in them many years ago just recently moved out. Is Ness somehow creating fake shells that he can sell so he could make more money? This is the question the FBI is wondering about so they get journalist, Maya Walsh to investigate.

Maya, as a journalist with the Times wrote a series of articles about the Wilde family. The first article was published with the public clamoring to read the rest of them. Ness Wilde contacts Maya and says that he would like to give her an interview and invited her to his home in Maine for a few hours. The FBI who has been listening in on all of Ness’s phone calls contacts Maya and the Times and more or less tells Maya that she is the way the FBI is going to be able to get the goods on Wilde. Maya and her publication, not having much choice in the matter, agree to the FBI’s demands. She is wired for sound and sent into Wilde’s home to see what she can find. Little did Maya suspect what would happen next.

“The Shell Collector” by Hugh Howey was one terrific book at first. I loved reading what Global Warming did to the planet. Yes, I do believe that that the Earth is in big trouble because of what we’re doing but this is not supposed to be a rant about the environment but a book review. Howey did a great job in explaining why the seas were dying and presented a gloomy forecast that just might really happen. Sorry, didn’t mean to go back to my personal beliefs again.

The story was really interesting and pulled me in from the get go until the “love story” popped its evil head up. I know, I know, it was obvious that Ness and Maya would become romantically involved but I was wishing, hoping, and praying that this wouldn’t happen. But it did. Okay, I even understand that many publishers even try to get their authors to spin in a love aspect to their stories because love sells books, or so I’m told. But there had to have been a way for Howey to get to the end of this really good story without focusing in on Wilde’s and Walsh’s relationship. I don’t know, make them good friends or something without relying on the old facet that “love blinds.”

I will say that Howey did a really nice job writing as a woman. The story is told from Maya Walsh’s point of view and not many men can write from a female’s perspective.

Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read many of his books and plan on reading more in the future it’s just that I wish he could have backed off from the love story plot line a little and added more about the environment.

“The Shell Collector” is worth reading and it’s very enjoyable even though I’m just not a romantic at heart. The ending is kind of a disappointment to me but, what do I know?  


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