Review: The Big Blue by Matt Shaw

Book Description:

“Blue seas all around. Waves lapping gently at the sides of the raft. We sit in silence amidst the debris of wrappers from the now empty survival pack. Occasionally one of us begins to cry as our minds remind us of all that we’ve lost. All that we may never see again. Blue skies tease us that it could be a pleasant day if the situation was different. But it’s not different. It’s not a pleasant day. We’ve lost our friends, our family, our way, our strength – and if we’re not rescued soon, our lives.”

When a cruise-liner goes down, four strangers find themselves trapped on a life-raft with little chance of survival in this tense, psychological horror from Matt Shaw.


The Big Blue is the latest horror novel from Matt Shaw. When a cruise ship goes down, four people find themselves trying to survive in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. There are no other lifeboats around and it seems as if no one is looking for the survivors.

Compared to other books I’ve read lately, this one was very tame. However, it is a dark, claustrophobic tale that reminds us that what we do in our lives may very well affect what happens when we face death.

I went on a cruise a couple years ago and always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was going to die. Every time the ship rocked, my heart would skip a beat. The ocean is a beautiful, serene place but also incredibly scary at times. Matt does a great job of conveying a realistic fear of the ocean and how something that is wonderous to one person may turn out to be another person’s personal hell.

The Big Blue has a nice little Twilight Zone feel to it and a twist you won’t see coming. As I said, this is far more mild than many of Shaw’s other books but there is some bad language and a few uncomfortable scenes that may be disturbing to some.

Overall, although this book is short, only around 100 pages, it is another solid read from one of my favorite horror authors and one I think you will enjoy.


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