Readers’ Comments

This is a must read. Mark Caney brings you into the world of Dolphins from their perspective. It is a love story, an environmental education, and a message for all of us on the state of our oceans. I truly loved it and couldn’t put it down and want more. I can’t wait for the sequel. I love books that are entertaining and that have messages. This one does. It is beautifully written with excitement and at times sadness. You learn about Dolphins and the greediness of man and what it has done to our oceans. To quote a wonderful man Capt. Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) “If our Oceans die, we die”. This book brings you inside the oceans and what is happening. You won’t be sorry if you buy this book. – Linda

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I’m not sure what I was expecting when I sat down to start reading Dolphin Way. I hadn’t read any reviews at that point. I had received the book as a gift from someone who knew I typically only read SF and fantasy, but took the chance anyway and gave it to me. In part out of obligation to her, I started reading. I’m damned glad I did. Dolphin Way is the best book I’ve read this year.

For a guy who seems to have spent most of his time in the ocean, rather than at a type-writer, Mark Caney writes very well indeed. From the start, I was grabbed by his vivid description of the underwater world. It’s familiar, of course, being the oceanic world of our own planet, but at the same time so alien because, to the dolphins at least, it is everything. The land so important to us features so little in the book.

It wasn’t just the setting that seemed alien, of course. In those moments when the book truly shines, the dolphin society is convincingly alien, too, and portrayed with all the skill that a great science-fiction writer puts into his or her imagined alien species.

In fact, part of why I loved Dolphin Way so much is that it reads exactly like a great SF novel. All the elements are there – from the alien world of Earth’s oceans to the society of a species whose existence, history and experience are so far removed from our own, from a genuinely well-crafted hero to a dark and dangerous nemesis. The social interactions between the dolphins are rich and compelling. Their rites and legends and the mystique surrounding whales in their culture is all gripping stuff.

Everything a good read needs is right here. And, like most great SF, it’s not all simple entertainment or escapism – it will make you think every time you close the cover. What do dolphins think of us? Given the atrocities certain nations perpetrate against their species to this day, probably not that much. And yet they show no contempt towards us. How well do they know us? Their species is far older than ours. Do have creation myths? What are they?

Dolphin Way may not be SF in the traditional sense, and some would say it isn’t really SF at all, but it’s one of my favourite SF books all the same, and I encourage you to read it as soon as possible. Enjoy! – Tigercub

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A well written novel which I found hard to put down. This is most definitely a book that everyone should read. This was not only an amazing story, but also an insight into the ocean and the environmental consequences that humans have upon the life within it. I was thoroughly impressed by the writer’s vivid imagination, and his ability to keep the story line gripping from start to finish. Even though the story is in the writer’s imaginary Dolphin world, it feels very realistic.

Highly recommended to anyone!– Joscelin

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Dolphin Way is a book that will take you on a fantasy but also on a personal intellectual journey. It can be read as an imaginative story and at the same time as series of symbols of our society, how it was, how it is and how it could be with a little extra care. A book hard to put down from beginning to end, it makes you realize that the parameters by which we judge intelligence should not have boundaries and that we should rethink the way we approach life and use of it.

For sure it will take you beyond the depths of the Ocean and the last dive. – Cristina

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I read Dolphin Way and it has left a lasting impression. At the time I was involved in a campaign to free two dolphins in a dirty filthy swimming pool in Turkey. The dolphins were released to Born free just in time as much longer in the pool and they would have died. They were rehabilitated and taught to catch fish again. I was lucky to be invited by Born Free to the release.

You must be wondering what this has to do with the book?? As we watched them swim away together after many years together we really thought they would remain that way. They had been close in the pool propping each other up when one was down It reminded me of this story. So it was with some surprise that we heard they had separated. Thinking about this story I can only imagine they came from different pods and they had gone to find their homes.
Mark has written this story with a real insight into dolphin behaviour and I am amazed at the way I have been able to relate this story to a real life event. The story of Tom and Misha can be found on the Born Free page. I urge you all to read it and to then read Mark’s book. By doing so you will see how wrong the captive dolphin industry is. – Heather

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Mark Caney’s novel transported me to the amazing world of Ocean. His characters and writing style captured my imagination from the minute I opened this book until surprised I found myself on the last page.
5* rating and highly recommended for anyone interested in Cetaceans, marine life and our oceans.
Eagerly awaiting the promised sequel. – Rita

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One of the most enjoyable reads for me in a long, long time. I love the whole dolphin perspective, the characters, the story, the dolphin tradition, the clan, and the deeper message to us to look after out oceans. This story reaches out and touches the soul stirring a kinship between humans and dolphins that we should already be fully aware of. It’s a story for all ages. Can’t wait for the next one, and only hope this grows into a long, long series. – Jenni

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When I first saw the review in Dive Log magazine I asked my wife to get it for me for Xmas. At first I had difficulty remembering the characters…old age I guess…but soon learnt them and was transported into the Dolphin’s world of Ocean as opposed to Man’s Earth. Mark weaves an amazing story with great insight and imagination of the dolphin world that he calls The Dolphin Way. He deftly creates a whole culture of how dolphins have survived for thousands of years and gives real emotion to each character. Sky has become the hero and I can’t wait for the next installment to find out what happens to him.–  Peter

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I absolutely love this book. For the three days that it took me to read this book I was lost in the world of the dolphins. I could hardly put the book down – it took me three days only because I had to do things in the “normal” world!

I really cannot wait for the next book in the series! Wonderful! Highly recommended! – Margaret

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It is wonderful when you find a book that is so magical it transports you away from your everyday routines. I’ve just finished reading Mark Caney’s Dolphin Way and now feel at a loss as I’ve had to say goodbye to the world it took me to. Between the covers of this book I have lived among the dolphins. I have grown to love some wonderful characters, I have laughed, shed tears and followed their adventures with bated breath. I have listened to their fears for their home and for our planet and marvelled at their understanding of deep philosophies. As I close this exquisite book I am left with a deeper understanding of our world. If you want to read something very special then I highly recommend you read this beautiful dolphin story. I can’t wait to join this world again in Mark’s next novel. Thank you Mark for giving us Dolphin Way. – Felicity

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Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians is a superbly crafted and multi-layered novel, with the result that it has a wide readership appeal which will satisfy children and adults alike, and have them begging for more.

On one level it is a beautiful story of live under the sea as seen through the eyes of bottle-nosed dolphins, with Touches the Sky as the main protagonist. There are choices to be made, choices in the face of danger and in the face of changing times. Choices with personal and moral consequences, choices all face in daily life.

Yet there is much more to it, as the discerning adult reader will immediately and delightedly discover for himself. Mark Caney has created an entire world for us to explore-  and he succeeds in making it real. There are legends, laws, taboos, myths, ancient writings, music, traditional gatherings, mating rituals, birth and death customs, and well-crafted ‘characters’ galore. This one is a keeper, make no mistake.

As you read the Dolphins in the book become real, as real as you and I, and the choices that they have to make are the choices we all face.  We see the individual’s role in the ‘modern’ family (yes, there are orphans here too), and his role in the community, society, relationships to other ‘nationalities/ species and the relationships with entire ecosystem which forms this world. – Milla

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I can’t say this enough, Dolphin Way is an absolute blast to read! I found myself wondering after setting the book down what Sky was up to and what would come next. My favorite aspect of this book is hearing the dolphins point of view regarding ocean changes. I am not active in writing reviews, I know this is short & sweet but I can say, pick the book up or give to a friend. It’s well worth the read and I cannot wait for the next one to come! – Lauren

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Dolphin Way Rise of the Guardians was a very captivating story. Hard to set down once I got started. Many emotions ran through me~Kept a box of tissues at hand. The story made an impact on my heart several times when two and two would come together. Mark clearly has an insight to the Dolphins’ Way. I highly recommend this book to any one who loves dolphins. – Denise

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I was transported to another world whilst reading Dolphin Way. Mark Caney so vividly and imaginatively describes the world of dolphins that I found myself eagerly turning each page to find out what would happen next.

As the story unfolded I felt more and more that we as humans have so much to learn and need to look outside our own small world if we are to stand any chance of a better future for generations to come.

I can’t wait to read the sequel. – Nicola

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When I first saw the review in Dive Log magazine I asked my wife to get it for me for Xmas. At first I had difficulty remembering the characters…old age I guess…but soon learnt them and was transported into the Dolphin’s world of Ocean as opposed to Man’s Earth. Mark weaves an amazing story with great insight and imagination of the dolphin world that he calls The Dolphin Way. He deftly creates a whole culture of how dolphins have survived for thousands of years and gives real emotion to each character. Sky has become the hero and I can’t wait for the next installment to find out what happens to him. – Peter

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I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dolphins or any sea life! I really see dolphins in a different way now and this book really shows us as humans in a bad light. I am 14 but I think that adults would really enjoy this book as well as teenagers with an older reading age. – AJ 

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An excellent story put in the dolphins’ point of view. I am looking forward to reading the next story. It is one of those books that your start reading and can’t put it down. – Dave

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Caney has created a dolphin culture and way of being that feels very real and
believable. The dolphin way is in stark contrast to the human way, yet the
dolphins response to the threats posed by man’s wastefulness is very human. This
book really made me think.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dolphin Way.  – James

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I just finished Dolphin Way and can honestly say I’ve never had a book put me
through such a range of emotions. Laughter then tears a few pages later; anger
then at total peace in a few paragraphs. The author’s experience with not only
dolphins, but the aquatic world in general, shines through this wonderfully
written novel. Bringing us a unique and stimulating perspective of how our
actions are impacting the vitality of our oceans, I consider Dolphin Way to be a
absolute must-read. – Dawn

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A great story, expertly written. A book which entertains but at the same time opens your mind to look at our lives and our planet from the point of view of another species. A rare insight into a species that has always intrigued and fascinated mankind. An exciting page turner, sorry to reach the last page but delighted to find there will be a sequel. – Martin

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Mark has written a book that brings new meaning to the word perspective. The characters, the plot, and the ocean scenery take the reader into the intimate world of the dolphin characters allowing the reader to become entwined in their lives. You won’t be able to put this one down. It is obvious in reading the book that the author has had extensive experience with dolphins allowing him to create a story like no other. I highly recommend “Dolphin Way: Rise of The Guardians” for anyone looking for a great book. – Kirsten

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I finished reading ‘Dolphin Way’ today, it left me with tears in my eyes….. Mark Caney, when is the next book going to be ready? – Lucy

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Dolphin Way is a beautifully written novel which truly inspires the imagination. Mark Caney
has created a stunning new world which I am sure will captivate readers of all
ages. Told from the point of view of one of nature’s most complex and
intelligent creatures, Dolphin Way masterfully weaves a tale which will not
only change the way we view dolphins, but human beings as well. This novel was
such a page-turner, I couldn’t put it down once I had started it and I am now
eagerly waiting for news on when the next book in the series will be available.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone! – Meagan

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In this wonderful book Mark has captured elements of eastern philosophies in how we should behave to each other and to our world and combined them with a fast paced gripping narrative. Mark’s vast experience with the underwater world shines through as even a non diver could feel propelled into the fascinating seascape he creates whilst the experienced diver quickly recognises the creatures and their behaviour through accurate and fascinating descriptions that weave effortlessly into the story. Mark’s passion for conservation of the marine environment through his work with “Project Aware” is clear here and as the last page is finished you are left with two thoughts, What have we done? and more importantly, What can we do now? – Phil

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A wonderfully entertaining and informative novel … well written and a real page-turner from
beginning to end!!! If you buy this book it’ll be money well spent, that I can
guarantee!! – Nicola

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Dolphin Way is first and foremost a cracking story. In setting that story in
the wonderful world of dolphins Caney adds a superb extra dimension and
important glimpse of a world it is all too easy for us to forget. Full of
humour, at times fantastic, always uncompromising and occasionally brutal this
is an exciting read that left me breathless, excited and looking forward to the
second instalment. – Vikki

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A wonderful book for all ages. Never before has the underwater world been brought to life
in such an exciting and imaginative way. We follow the exploits and adventures
of Sky and his fellow dolphins in an underwater version of Watership Down.
While the kids will love the antics and scrapes the beautifully drawn
characters get into, the older readers will see a fascinating and intelligent
look at the state of our planet and what Man is doing to the oceans. The author
has drawn upon his extensive diving experience to truly transport the reader to
another world, but one that is so close to home, and can be experienced by
anyone who so wishes, but also one that bit by bit we are slowly destroying.
One of those rare books that transcends age and gender and will surely be
lapped up by Hollywood in the not too distant future. – Mike

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If you ever see a close-up shot of a dolphin, one of the most striking things about it is
the huge, permanent grin spread wide across his face. But have you ever stopped
to wonder what the creature might have to smile about?  What secrets lie
behind the intelligent eyes of the animal about which we still know so little?
In this beautiful subaquatic tale, Mark Caney provides a glimpse at life
through the eyes of the other major civilized race we share the planet with –
the dolphins.  Aptly blurring fact and the fantastic, the novel is rooted
in the author’s intricate research of dolphin behaviour, whilst conveying a
powerful narrative which masterfully explores some profound questions.

Touches the Sky is a young male dolphin who finds himself caught up in the
destructive consequences of man’s impact on his once utopian world.  For
millennia the dolphins have peaceably thrived in a sophisticated, harmonious
existence, following the Way: an ancient belief system, somewhere between a
religion and a philosophy.  With a complex communication system,
playfulness to rival that of humans and unobtrusive intelligence, they have
grown perfectly attuned to their world, without the need to improve it, or
destroy one another.  Now there are alarming developments in the familiar
waters, with the confusing din of deafening machinery, brutal over-fishing
resulting in food shortages, strange cancers, and many baby dolphins stillborn
due to pollution.  The darker side of human nature begins to take seed in
the receptive dolphin psyche, and a small faction renounces the Way to pursue a
savage new lifestyle.  Sky must desperately try to avert the disturbing
new threat if he is to protect the ancient code and those he loves.

Though the pervasive themes are sombre, the plot is vibrant and fast-paced,
snaking in the impressive twists and turns of a beautifully crafted adventure
story.  The reader is immersed in a stunning underwater world with
eloquent scenic descriptions opening the reader’s eyes to a vast and vivid
variety of undersea creatures, water temperaments and ocean-scapes.  To be
enjoyed by readers both young and old alike, the novel may be read simply as an
exciting, escapist tale, with three-dimensional characters, touches of humour
and beautiful snatches of poetry.  But for a deeper reading, the fictive
layers can be peeled back to reveal many philosophical, social and moral
questions which will leave the reader thinking long after turning the last
page.  If dolphins are as intelligent as man is gradually learning to
realise, what are they using all this intelligence for?  (Is there a master
agenda?)  In evolutionary terms, where did ‘original sin’ arise, and why
has it not affected another, so highly developed, species?  What causes
the fork in the evolutionary pathway which allows or denies a species to be
capable of sophisticated communication, emotion, sociability and pleasure?

The most poignant theme of the novel is clearly the shocking, but entirely
realistic, devastation to the ocean environment.   Human influences
on the planet seem to be slowly destroying any hope for posterity, whilst the dolphin
Way hinges on the safeguarding of the future through learning from the past.
Caney paints a stark picture of human egocentricity and materialism
versus the balanced altruism and sustainability of the gentle dolphins.
The dolphins eat only what they need to stay alive, to maintain the
complex balance of life in the ocean.  By training their minds and bodies
they can hold their breaths for longer, dive deeper, and explore different
levels of consciousness and the subconscious.  This existential introspection
enables the possibility of approaching a sense of unity with the universal, one
of the fundamental tenets of the Way.  It also provides an elegant
solution to the creatures’ lack of instruments or material objects to record
information; a special order of dolphins known as the Starwriters can train
their minds to recall vast quantities of information subliminally. Here the
author’s creative flair takes wing, and an entire system of societal roles
within the dolphin clan is laid out; from Dreamweavers to Calculators, the
different gifts of certain zetii (as the dolphins are known) work together to
ensure the continuance through each generation, of the creatures’ age old
wisdom.  One of the most fascinating aspects of this world is that many of
the ideas stem from scientific theory, touching upon the realms of astrology,
oceanology, biology and medicine.

So if you get the chance to read one novel this Summer, make it Dolphin Way.
Aside from enjoying the vivid brilliance of the underwater world, you might
learn something along the way.  After all, if we concentrated less on
materialistic concerns, the desire to manipulate the environment and cultivate
wealth, there would surely be more time for pleasure and to simply enjoy life!
Perhaps this is why the dolphins smile – man is caught up in his
obstinately self-destructive pursuit of happiness; the dolphins are already
there. – Alexandra

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