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The Boneless Ones: A Great Scifi Thrill on the High Seas

Updated on October 4, 2019

The Boneless One by Alec Nevela-Lee

Throughout part of 2017, all of 2018 and now 2019 I have been slowly been working my way through the 29th Edition of the Year’s Best Science Fiction. I’ve been periodically diving in here and there between novels to read a story or two. And now a year and half later I realize I’m toward the end. So I decided to finish out the last few stories one after another. Today the story is The Boneless One by Alec Nevela-Lee and here is my review.

The story follows Trip. He is a journalist shadowing a crew of scientists heading out to the Galapagos Islands. He is hoping to document a new discovery as well as get some good meaty interviews. But so far, he’s been virtually ignored except when the crew needs an extra hand. Then something remarkable happens. In the dead of night, they see a great glow in the middle of the ocean. They investigate to find it’s a colony of bioluminescence octopi. A scientist named Ellis brings a couple on board as specimens even. But Ray, the financer of the trip refuses to stay, so they can't continue research on the new discovery. Instead, he’s dead set on reaching his dead line with Galapagos research.

Late that night there is a chilling revelation. Ray is murdered and nobody knows who did it. Immediately everyone’s nervous also acting a little out of character. Paranoia begins to fill the ship. Who did it? Or better yet what did it?

The good? This is a nice little thriller. It’s written in style very similar with Michael Crichton’s work and has good pacing and balance of mystery elements. I found the characters likable. They were not all developed (Because this is a twenty page short after all) but the leads had depths to them which made them more interesting. The red herrings are great too. It really keeps you guessing about who to trust and who not to trust? And even makes you wonder if that creepy octopus locked in a tank might be the puppet master somehow.

The bad? I really wish there was more. Twenty pages seemed way too short. Also as mentioned before some side characters could have been more developed. But beyond that I wouldn’t find any faults.

Overall, this is a nice little story. I really like this one. It’s an exciting like mystery thrill. And the fact my biggest complaint is. I wanted more, that says something the quality. It’s a darn good thriller with a scifi twist work checking out.

3 ½ smoothies out of Four.

Overall Rating: A Great Scifi Thrill on the High Seas

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