Most "creature" novel authors make a lot of mistakes. They rush to get to the
creature, they ignore, handwave, or invent the science, and/or they present us
with cardboard human characters who readers wish would just get eaten and be
done with it.
Lockwood doesn't make any of those mistakes. His technical
details of the sea and diving are very interesting, the science behind the animals involved
is stretched only a little, and he takes his time introducing a believable story
about believable people.
Lockwood's creatures, the Humboldt
squid, are a real species, and they do most of what Lockwood has them doing.
They are smart, pack-hunting animals 2-3 meters long, that communicate with
flashes of color. Lockwood makes them a little too smart and much too emotional,
but otherwise they are believably scary. This is a species that could do a lot
of damage if it ever collectively decided to check out a new food source like,
say, humans. (There have been some scary encounters, and possibly a few
unrecorded human deaths, as people study and fish for this numerous and
well-armed (the pun is unavoidable) species.)
The book drags in spots, with a little too much lecturing thrown in. And there are nitpicks: destroyers don't and can't carry guns you could fit a soccer ball into. But overall, kudos to Lockwood. He's
given us a first-rate thriller and a little ecological lesson into the bargain.
I'll look forward to the sequel.