Monday, January 10, 2011

Boyd Morrison resurrects a lost art form

Rogue Wave
by Boyd Morrison

As a child of the seventies, I have a lingering affection for an all but lost art form--the disaster thriller. Remember the fun of first reading (and then watching) classics like The Poseidon Adventure, Airport, and The Towering Inferno? Good times.

Novelist Boyd Morrison has transported me back to that era with his latest, Rogue Wave. (Well, at least it's his latest for mainstream publication. It was originally published via Kindle under the title The Palmyra Impact.) The formerly eponymous impact is that of an asteroid in the Pacific, which is the cause of the currently eponymous rogue wave. Today it's a tsunami; if we were back in the seventies, we'd simply call it a tidal wave--a big one--and it's heading straight for Hawaii.

One person who is immediately aware of the jeopardy is Kai Tanaka, the acting director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu. You'd think he'd be exactly the person to get out a warning in this situation, but things are never that cut and dried. "Sending out a tsunami warning would be a bold step. The situation didn't fit any established scenarios. He would simply be going on gut. Issuing a tsunami warning was not a responsibility that he took lightly, particularly because he'd been on the job for less than a year. Doing so would cause a massive disruption to businesses and tourists in Hawaii, not to mention the enormous cost associated with an evacuation." Soon enough, however, the magnitude of the event becomes clear... "A catastrophe of epic proportions," and Tai and a small band of others do all that they can to save as many lives as possible.

The timeline of this novel is ridiculously compressed, with the bulk of the action taking place over about three hours. The pace of this story is petal to the metal all the way--often literally. The novel isn't about a heroic effort to save Honolulu, it's about one man's struggle to get a message out and save the people he loves. Kai battles against all manner of impediment as he races against Mother Nature. You will be holding your breath as you wait to see who will live and who will die. Revel in the destruction! Dare we hope for a film?


  1. I guess Sue and I are showing our age because I thought of the classic disaster films of the 70's when I read this as well. Rogue Wave is a page-turner that entertains from the first page on. Morrison has written an exciting, believable scenario that makes you think that disasters like this are not only possible, but more than likely inevitable. I read The Ark first, so this is back-to-back homeruns that put Boyd Morrison on my "must read" list of authors. Can't wait for his next book!

  2. Did you just call me old?

    Wow, Kerry, excellent testament! So, a secret... I've begun reading the MS of Boyd's next novel. I don't think you're going to be disappointed.