Part of the book’s enjoyment lies in the sheer diversity of its subjects, from large (basking shark) to small (bay scallop), colorful (harlequin duck) to frightening (Atlantic wolffish), ancient (American horseshoe crab) to acrobatic (humpback whale). McLeish rounds out the book with Atlantic halibut, harbor porpoise, Leach’s storm petrel, seaweed and leatherback turtle, and establishes an easygoing, conversational rhythm with his chapter-by-chapter approach. While clearly enthusiastic about his topic, the author conveys just enough personality to keep the profiles from being dry and academic, yet always manages to emphasize the science at the heart of each story.