Andre Norton, who wrote Star Guard and The Stars Are Ours focuses her talent for science fiction on the nether reaches of the see this time. Ominous portents on the bleak West Indies Island of San Isadore worry Griff Gunston, whose father is an icthyologist concerned with a new radioactive scum plague. Shortly after Griff rescues his father, who has been poisoned by a sea monster and returned by air to the States for treatment, all contact with the outer world ceases. Reluctantly Griff faces the fact that atomic war has broken out; then he and the other island inhabitants are surrounded by vicious Octopi Sapiens, a mutation of octupi with advanced brain development. Not for the squeamish, this is the projection of a good storyteller's powerful imagination. A somewhat sanguine note is sounded as the diverse factions of the island unite in an effort to maintain life.