Emperors of the Deep

Sharks - The Ocean's Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians
Narrated by: Tim Andres Pabon
Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this remarkable, groundbreaking audiobook, a documentarian and conservationist, determined to dispel misplaced fear and correct common misconceptions, explores in-depth the secret lives of sharks - magnificent creatures who play an integral part in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans and ultimately the planet.

From the Jaws blockbusters to Shark Week, we are conditioned to see sharks as terrifying, cold-blooded underwater predators. But as Safeguard the Seas founder William McKeever reveals, sharks are evolutionary marvels essential to maintaining a balanced ecosystem. We can learn much from sharks, he argues, and our knowledge about them continues to grow. The first to reveal in full the hidden lives of sharks, Emperors of the Deep examines four species - mako, tiger, hammerhead, and great white - as never before and includes fascinating details such as:

  • Sharks are 50 million years older than trees;
  • Sharks have survived five extinction-level events, including the one that killed off the dinosaurs;
  • Sharks have electroreception, a sixth sense that lets them pick up on electric fields generated by living things;
  • Sharks can dive 4,000 feet below the surface;
  • Sharks account for only six human fatalities per year, while humans kill 100 million sharks per year.

McKeever goes back through time to probe the shark’s prehistoric secrets and how it has become the world’s most feared and most misunderstood predator and takes us on a pulse-pounding tour around the world and deep under the water’s surface, from the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle to the coral reefs of the tropical Central Pacific, to see sharks up close in their natural habitat. He also interviews ecologists, conservationists, and world-renowned shark experts, including the founders of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, the head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, and the self-professed “last great shark hunter”.

At once a deep dive into the misunderstood world of sharks and an urgent call to protect them, Emperors of the Deep celebrates this wild species that holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of the ocean - if we can prevent their extinction from climate change and human hunters.

©2019 William McKeever (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Emperors of the Deep

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book, but...

I strongly wanted to like this book. I'm on a quest to learn about sharks and this book did provide some factual information. However, it was a difficult book to listen to for a number of reasons:
1) The narration style was like a sleepy bedtime story.
2) There were a number of mispronunciations of somewhat scientific terms.
3) While there was factual information about a few shark species and fishing practices, far too much time was spent describing the author's personal, somewhat questionable experiences. For instance, he describes the importance of predators in the ecosystem, then tells how he prevented a baby sea turtle from untimely natural demise.
4) The author made a case for the importance of ocean ecology, but then continued to lecture down to his audience and belabor the point, while not providing any additional information.
5) Parts of the book were repetitive, again, repetitive.
6) Overuse and incorrect use of the term "apex predator".
7) While obviously researched, the author did not have a sufficient knowledge on all the topics he presented to describe them accurately. On a number of issues, his presentation was somewhat skewed - not completely wrong, but not right, either.

My conclusion was that the author capitalized on an opportunity to travel and fulfill some of his bucket list while being able to write it all off. The book would be greatly improved by a scientific review/edit and overall, a much better editing job. The Audio version would also be improved by a having a different reader with a bit more of an engaging speaking style.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, misleading title

excellent book highly recommend
however this book is 60% ocean conservation
not 100% shark
very well written and from real experience
And without fact checking every detail I would say very accurate.
I highly recommend this book

3 people found this helpful

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This book's amazing

This book really gives you an insight on what's going on in the wolrd as it pertains to declining and culling of sharks and other species around the world. It really helps to soften your heart and to join the fight against illegal fishing and the fight to preserve the marine ecosystem and the shark population as a whole. It has definitely opened my mind and my heart to the masters of the ocean. I look forward to the next great listen!

1 person found this helpful

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Provides insight the misconception of sharks

Interesting read. Helps the reader understand why sharks are important and why they are misunderstood

1 person found this helpful

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Depressing but Important

Very informative book discussing not only sharks but the humans involved in studying them and hunting them. At times it describes graphic killings of sharks or the poor conditions of slaves on fishing boats to a level which people may find disturbing. Interesting information from the research side and about new technologies for studying ocean life and preventing illegal hunting/fishing. Audio book had good narrative and audio quality.

1 person found this helpful

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very important and interesting information

I learned so much about Sharks and the dangers they face, and how important they are to our oceans and us.

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Maybe It Is Safe to Go Back in the Water

If everything you know about sharks comes from reading (or watching) Jaws, then you should treat yourself to this very different perspective on the apex predators of the oceans. It was a fascinating and educational read. I certainly won’t look at sharks the same way again, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to go swimming with them either.