The Curse of Shallow Bay | Jay Requard
Another book from the dark recesses of the TBR. I got this one some time ago as a recommendation from someone else (got to be honest, I can't remember who it was).
From the author of the fantasy thriller Thief of Destiny and the bone-crunching sword and sorcery novella WAR PIGS sails a breakneck tale of adventure on the high seas and the devils waiting beneath it!
Already a legend among the corsairs of the Silver Coast, Captain Ngala of The Gamka and his cutthroats ply the Mirror Sea for glittering spoil, threading between the vengeance of the unforgiving ocean and the justice of the western empires always at their back. On the run after a night raid, success is in reach when his ship is moored in the mysterious Shallow Bay.
The crew’s terror multiplies as the dreaded song of a deadly brine-singer echoes across the waves, summoning a terrifying monster from the depths. Against the murderous onslaught of the horrific beast and the mystery of the enchanted singer, Ngala must stem a rising mutiny as desperation and bloodshed spawns fear and betrayal. Every secret, no matter how deep, must be unearthed to end the curse of Shallow Bay. With his ship, crew, and very family at stake, how far will Ngala go to rescue everyone and everything he loves?
For fans of Pirates of the Caribbean and Conan the Barbarian, voyage deep into the epic unknown in The Curse of Shallow Bay.
It's set in an African/Greek inspired fantasy world in which magic has run rampant and ravaged the world.
Ngala is the captain of the The Gamka, along with his son Tausi and his daughter Zaki. They sail the Mirror Sea, raiding along its coastline. After a particularly successful raid they are forced by Latian Guards into a cove, known as Shallow Cove. Whilst attempting to escape from the guards The Gamka runs aground on an unknown object. Attempting to determine the reason for their misfortune, the crew are soon entranced by an otherworldly figure, I own as a brine - singer (a creature that kind of resembles a Siren from Greek mythology). Shortly afterwards, they are again attacked by a horrifying creature known as an Ulmo,.who attacks and kills members of the crew, including Zaki, Ngala's daughter.
Trying to fight both the Ulmo, and the ensuing insurrection on board The Gamka, Ngala must protect his crew, his position and his family.
I enjoyed this taut fantasy thriller story that mixes all sorts of different elements. In some ways it has a similar kind of feel to The Terror by Dan Simmons, in that there is a ship, with a terrifying unknown entity picking off the crew, with the immediate threat of supplies running out. However, whilst these elements remind you of that, there are lots of elements that give it its individuality. One of these being the elements of Greek mythology.
I liked the interplay between the characters and how the power struggles that occur due to the situation. In addition to that, the fantasy elements are interesting, and whilst the setting is quite static, the story does manage to incorporate some wider world building.
This book deserves some more exposure as it is a decent little story.