Blurb Book Review: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (spoilers ahead)

Image from

I put this book on hold because I thought it was written from a non-human point of view. I was partially correct.

Marcellus is an octopus in an aquarium. He was captured when young and has spent his life in a glass tank.
Tova is an elderly woman who cleans the aquarium to keep busy. Her son died under mysterious circumstances thirty years ago.
Cameron is a man in search of his father. His mom gave him up when he was nine and never told him who his father was.

The three of them develop a kind of friendship. First is Marcellus and Tova, who communicate enough to understand each other. Marcellus keeps leaving his tank in search of tasty alternatives to his daily meals (and finds those alternatives in the other tanks). Tova catches him and keeps his secret. She talks to him as she cleans, tells him bits of her life, enough that he understands that her son is at the bottom of the ocean.

Cameron rides into town on a hot lead about his dad. While in Sowell Bay he takes a job at the aquarium to make enough money to survive while there. He’s a bit of a petulant man, I’d think of him as a man-baby, who is pissed off at the world for not giving him what he feels is his due. With a drug-addicted mother and absent father, he was raised by his aunt.

Gradually, Cameron opens up to Tova’s tutelage on how to properly clean the aquarium and learns Marcellus isn’t as stupid as he’d thought.

Marcellus draws a line of connection between Cameron and Tova, and works hard to let her know.

Overall, this book was entertaining. I felt like the author re-iterated information unnecessarily, but that just made it for an easy read. I didn’t have to think or try to work anything out, I could just enjoy the scenes as they unfolded. I didn’t particularly like Cameron’s character, but did see some growth toward the end.

If you like soft novels about family and friendship, this might be a good book for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s