What a fantastic adventure I found inside the pages of Into the Killing Sea. One minute I was folded into the confides of a makeshift crate with Patrick and his brother Teddy as their dreams of a better tomorrow floated into their minds and before long, I found myself shivering in the deep ocean battling the unknowns that were surrounding me but also battling for survival. The power of Michael Spradlin’s words were key to the success of this novel, using striking and effective language Michael brings his readers smack dab into the middle of the story making them become a part of the adventure. I would love to see the looks on a child’s face as I read this book to them, I am sure their reaction would be priceless. The story is packed with emotions and history and definitely worth reading.
The year is 1941 and Patrick and his brother got the last two seats on the last plane out of Manila. The Japanese invaded the town shortly thereafter and what happened to their parents, the two boys don’t know. It wasn’t easy for the two young boys as their plane never makes it to its original destination but lands in Guam. The jungle becomes their home for years until an orphanage opened up and the boys met Benny. A first class, private with the Marines, this wounded soldier visited the orphanage and bonds with the boys. Benny is encouraging and his way with the boys is inspirational. Vowing to reunite the boys with their parents, Benny put his career on the line to stow the boys on the USS Indianapolis in a crate which he created on his own. The USS Indianapolis path to the Philippines is crossing through some of the most heavily populated shark invested waters in the entire world. All is well on the ship or at least what can be expected living in a small crate for these two boys until a loud explosion shakes them. Immediately another loud explosion rocks the great vessel a second time. With Benny checking out the situation, the boys lift the lid off their small world and see that water is starting to flood their quarters. They hear cries, screaming, and they know they can’t stay down below any longer. The journey that they take is one that had me holding my breath at times and one that had me reading every word, afraid I would miss something; the writing is exceptional and keeps your emotions sharp and alert. This story is based on true events of the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis and scientist call it the worst encounter between humans and sharks. I call it an exceptional story and one that should be shared.