09 November 2021

Something's Alive on the Titanic

By Robert J. Serling

My Review

The story begins in 1975 when an expedition embarks on a mission to locate the wreck of the Titanic and salvage 34 crates of gold bullion she was reputedly carrying when she sank in 1912Using two deep-sea-exploration submersibles, the team descend into the murky depths of the North Atlantic Ocean. Fraught with difficulties from the start, they take risks and unsurprisingly the mission ends in tragedy. 

Fast forward to 1993 and the United States Navy try to succeed where the first mission failed. But they too encounter problems despite having more technologically advanced equipment. They discover they're not alone — there's something alive on the Titanic protecting it from being plundered. . . something malignant and dangerous!    

What a thrilling read this turned out to be. It was extremely well-written and combined two subjects that always pique my interest — namely horror fiction and the Titanic. I thought the pacing of the first part of the 1975 expedition was a little slow (I was 31% into the book before the Titanic was even discovered), but from that point onwards it was full steam ahead.

Descriptions of the Titanic striking the iceberg and the devastating loss of life were superb. I was effortlessly transported back in time. The supernatural element cast a different spin on things, as did the merging of fact and fiction. The setting, two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface of the ocean, was claustrophobic and creepy. I thought it was a fantastic, unsettling read.

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 374 pages
Publisher: St Martin's Press (15th Sept 1990)
ISBN-13: 978-0312929992

The Blurb

If you forget the Titanic’s legacy, beware.

Something is alive on the Titanic — something powerful and malevolent that protects the once-great ocean liner from the rapacious intentions of those who would desecrate her grave. Whatever is down there was first encountered by a classified mission in 1975, and they could never speak of it.

A previous mission to recover millions of dollars in gold believed hidden in Cargo Hold Three had a mysterious, tragic end. Now, a new group of men and women — scientists, adventurers, and the United States Navy — wants to retrace the steps of that original voyage to investigate where the 1975 mission failed. The rumours of monsters and apparitions can’t be true, can they? As they penetrate deep into the hull, the first people to see the interior in eighty-one years, they find they are not alone…

The Author, Robert J. Serling

Robert Jerome Serling (March 28, 1918 – May 6, 2010) was an American novelist and aviation writer. Born in Cortland, New York, Serling graduated from Antioch College. He became full-time aviation editor for United Press International in 1960. He wrote at least eight novels and sixteen books of nonfiction. His novel The President's Plane Is Missing was made into a 1973 made-for-TV film starring Buddy Ebsen. He was the older brother of screenwriter and The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. He received the 1988 Lauren D. Lyman Award "for distinguished achievement in the field of aviation and aerospace journalism."

Serling died of pancreatic cancer on May 6, 2010, at age 92 in Tucson, Arizona. He is buried beside his second wife, Priscilla Arone Serling, brother Rod Serling and sister-in-law Carol Serling at Lake View Cemetery in Interlaken, New York.

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