The Blue Planet: Seas of Life

Written by Andrew Byatt, Alastair Fothergill & Martha Holmes, with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough
Published by DK

One of the most impressive things on the planet, at least as far as I'm concerned, are the oceans. Granted, I'm not about to slap on a snorkel and go mucking about in them--not my bag, you see--but still, they fascinate me. A very worthy exploration of the wet portions of our Earth and the denizens of those same portions is the amazing BBC miniseries, Blue Planet. A lot of work went into going around and taking some extraordinary footage of sea creatures in action--some of which had never been seen before. The producers behind that series bring us this tremendous cudgel of a book. With 371 pages and weighing in at more than three pounds, it's a formidable tome that takes you beyond the series.

The book is comprised of seven sections that span every region of the oceans and down into the depths as well. There are literally hundreds of still photos of myriad species of aquatic creature. Some are two page spreads, others are peppered throughout the text--but they're all extremely colorful, well executed and just flat amazing. As for the text itself, you might think: well, if I've seen the series, why do I need this book? The good news is that the trio of producer/writers didn't just regurgitate information straight out of the show. Sure, the information is in both places, but there's enough new and different info to provide you with new and interesting stuff on almost every single page.

Is it the kind of thing that you'd read from cover to cover? Well, the ocean enthusiast won't have a problem with doing so. The content flows from one section to another with plenty of sidebars and quick facts for easy consumption. For those who like having such books for simple reference, there's a very extensive index, I'm pleased to say--along with a glossary for those people who have no idea what, say, an abyssal plain is.

This is a no-brainer purchase for people who love the aquatic biome and especially for people like myself who love it from a distance. Chocked full of information, it's well worth the money to grab it.

Grade: A+

Review submitted by Widgett

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