Readers Rave about ‘Death at SeaWorld’

Critics have given ‘Death at SeaWorld’ some of the finest reviews imaginable. But what really counts is what readers think. I am proud to list highlights from some of the most glowing readers accounts, taken from and I hope you find them enlightening. Thank you! – David Kirby

Excerpts of Reader Reviews from
Amazon and Goodreads

~Reviews at Amazon~

One of the best books I’ve ever read! – Alex Lewis “Alexlewis44″ (Denton, TX) – David Kirby has hit the nail on the head once again. ‘Death at SeaWorld’ is quite possibly the most exciting book I’ve ever read. I could not put it down and did not want it to end. I have never read a book like this before. Not only is it incredibly descriptive but it’s also fact-based. Thank you so much for writing this book!

Truth! if you love killer whales – read this! – Shanna Brady “Gregory A Loew” (Burlington, Vermont) – I could not put this book down! Anyone and everyone who has or ever will visit a marine park should read this book. Informative, intelligent and a must read. Thank you Mr. Kirby! I only hope this wakes some people up to the horror of keeping hear majestic creatures is concrete cages.

The Real Truth Behind The Lies – Hydeaway Photography - I could NOT put this book down! I have read every single book about Orcas that I possibly could and this one is by far one of if not the best book I’ve read thus far. For the sake of the animals and their trainers! Thank you to David Kirby for writing this amazing book!

Lifts the lid on what SeaWorld don’t want you know – julieannboo - I received this last week and haven’t been able to put it down since. David lifts the lid on what SeaWorld don’t want you to know what really goes on life for the whales in captivit

Great book!!! Very eye opening – Pen Name – Once I began reading it I couldn’t put it down. It was very shocking and eye opening and super educating.

Read it in 3 days – James R. Lawrence III(Canyon Country, CA) – It was so good I could not put it down. This book really puts the lives of captive (intelligent) Orcas in perspective. A must read for any animal lover or appreciator of wilderness! Thank you so much for writing this book!

This book is a must read for animal loversMichael J. Spitale – I just bought this book this morning for my Kindle and I have barely put it down yet. The author does an amazing job of explaining Orca.

Intelligent and thought provokingBaygirl61 – I just downloaded this book last night, and I was riveted. Finished it this morning. I was delighted to find so much information about the lives of wild orcas and the research that has been done over the years.

Factual, Gripping, Can’t Stop ReadKirsten Massebeau (Cannon Beach, Oregon) ‘Death at SeaWorld’ is worth every penny. This factual and objective account is a book you won’t be able to put down. The author David Kirby does an amazing job of toggling between the world of wild orca, and the trainers at Sea World.

JAWS for the 21st CenturyTommy Shane – Anyone who cares about human life, and anyone who cares about the fate of other mammals, must read DEATH AT SEAWORLD. It is a page-turning thriller. David Kirby is an amazing writer. You will not be able to put this book down.

Exposes the truth behind the illusionMarisa Hunt – Excellent book, clearly explains what goes on behind closed doors at sea world. It’s a gripping objective read full of facts taken from a variety of sources, once you start you will not be able to put it down.

I really enjoyed the DETAIL bothellbuyer (WA USA) – I picked up this e-book awhile back and waited for a non-fiction reading ‘mood’. Boy, was I pulled into this topic. For an in-depth exploration of the topic of orca captivity issues, I would recommend this to other readers.

A MUST READ! – S. McElhaney (Woodbridge, VA) – David Kirby’s insightful book tells the real truth behind the brightly colored walls at SeaWorld. Destined to be a best-seller!

Fantastic !!!!!Kimberly Sutherland – David Kirby has hit the nail on the head. Very informative …I LOVED this book. Sea world executives must be having a very bad day with the release of this stunning examination of the marine park procedures.

VALID .. REFRESHING – Paul Slabaugh (Leakey, Texas) - ‘Death at SeaWorld’ cleanly presents a balance of scientific and experiential data with shocking, anecdotal stories. Historically significant, this is a wonderful read from a New York Times bestselling author!!

Outstanding bookTruman GoldendogOne of the best books about a wild animal issue I have read. I have been a professional endangered species biologist for 23 years. David Kirby not only got his facts correct on the biology and ecology of the killer whale, but he has written the story in an engrossing manner. I felt like I was present at the events he described in his book.

Incredible bookChristelle – It informs its readers so well about the orca captivity situation – I feel like everything you need to know on the issue is in this book, it’s so detailed and well-researched. The 450 pages scared me at first, but I was flipping through the pages so fast – this book is captivating.

Changed the way I thought- April -The highest praise I can give a book is that it makes you stand back and really review what your beliefs are. This one does that…I will never look at any animals held in captivity the same, particularly marine mammals.

Reviews at

Death at SeaWorld has received 204 reader ratings, of which, 98% liked the book. Most common rating: 5 stars.

Sarah – A gripping narrative non-fiction book that I could not put down. This is a harrowing and sad story of what happens when man uses nature to make a profit at the cost of human. I was impressed at the science in this book. Normally science books leave me cold, but Kirby showed his subjects as being intelligent and creative without overly anthropomorphizing them. The book is both educational and highly readable.

Ariel – One of the most powerful books I have ever read and along with Unbroken, my favorite nonfiction read of the year. Much like how Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle (another favorite of mine) exposed the seedy side of the meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, this book lays bare the Sea World behind the facade they put forth.

Lara – One of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read, and one that was very emotionally charged for me. David Kirby paces this like a thriller, and the amount of research that went into fully developed human and cetacean characters is astounding.

Elizabeth Batt – Death at SeaWorld is a ‘read it and weep’ exposé of shocking connotations. The reader is cleverly and artfully guided by the author through a complicated ‘mess-story’. But this is the quiet strength of the book. Kirby’s knockout format is articulate and mind-blowing. This riveting read is not one that will easily be dismissed.

Karin Susan Fester – David Kirby’s book documents and effectively engages with the fierce debate about whether it is good and right to keep killer whales (orcas) in captivity at marine theme parks. For his compelling argument, the author employs a wide range of sources: empirical evidence, scientific expert opinions, and numerous interviews with trainers and a host of others. Each chapter is packed with essential information and supports the author’s comprehensive argumentation. David Kirby has left no stone unturned. His book is simply superb.

AngelaExcellent informative book. I learned so much about Killer Whales and all the reasons they SHOULD NOT be kept in captivity! I’ve done the Sea World/Shamu thing, and now I have a totally different perspective. Excellent research, well written. Recommend if you are interested in this subject matter.

Michelle – The author does an excellent job of winding a narrative through this non-fiction piece. It reads much like a story, or at least parts of it do. The science is fascinating and I don’t know how anyone could read this and not agree that orcas should not be kept in captivity. It was fascinating to learn the whole story behind Keiko. This is a very important read, for anyone

Brittany – This book is prodigiously well-researched and compulsively readable. Kirby launched a full-scale journalistic investigation into the history of orcas in captivity, specifically those at SeaWorld. Kirby does his homework. He gets in up to his elbows interviewing anyone who at any time had anything to do with SeaWorld. It makes for fascinating reading. The resulting book is an eye-opening look at the history of killer whales and a distressing exposé of SeaWorld.

Diane RichardsCompelling. The book is well written and thorough. Kirby does an excellent job painting a portrait of an industry that sustains cruelty. As a milestone of progress toward the day when this industry dies out, the book is important. It’s also darn hard to put down.

Cheryl – Thank you Mr. Kirby for writing such a book, with such attention to details, dates, names, places, etc. You have written a book that should be required reading for anyone who even thinks about going to these shows. Mr. Kirby, I will look forward to reading more that you have written.

Deborah Blalock – David Kirby, a well-respected journalist, tells the truth. Unfortunately for SeaWorld, Kirby reveals their carefully crafted public relations magic to be smoke and mirrors. Well written, well researched, and well thought out, this is a must read for anyone who cares about the world we live in.

Brian Walters – I checked out the preview to the book and it held me. The history of the death at Sea World is truly amazing. I don’t think i can view animals in captivity the same after reading this book. It is well written and documents the history of sea world well. I would recommend it.

Jennifer – This book made for compulsive reading. After finishing, it seemed clear that ending the use of these huge predators as entertainment is best, both for orcas and the people who work with them.

Mary Ellen – This book was well-received and widely reviewed. One quote stuck with me: “Putting an orca in a swimming pool is like putting an eagle in a parakeet cage”. Read this provocative book and decide for yourself.

Mary Beth – This is a very good and very important book. I believe I approached the subject from an almost purely neutral position. I didn’t really know enough to have an opinion one way or another. The book clearly has a viewpoint but it is about as fair and objective as it can be.

Julie – A very detailed eye-opener to the horrible things that go on with animals in captivity. How any of us could think it’s a good idea to put large (or any) animals into a tank for people to gawk at is beyond me….even though I sort of pushed that thought aside for a long time. This book is sad and there is no happy ending. But it is very thought provoking.

Manisha – This book is a very captivating read. The images that David Kirby creates about orca life in the wild versus orca life in captivity is so haunting and moving, that I don’t think I’ll be able to look at places like SeaWorld the same ever again. The characters in this book are real people fighting for what they believe in, and the characterization of the infamous Tilikum, the killer whale that brutally attacked and killed Dawn Brancheau in 2010, is equally moving.

ElenaThanks David Kirby for opening the eyes of many about what really happens behind the “smiles” of orcas and dolphins, although I noticed how some people tell me “they prefer not to know” … much easier I guess.

Annica – I found this very interesting and informative! David Kirby is very good at writing without personal bias while still letting you know it’s there.

Barbara Borg-JenkinsWhat an eye-opener! Like all wild animals, orcas have no business being captured and held for the entertainment of humans.

About David Kirby

DAVID KIRBY is the author of 'Evidence of Harm,' which was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2005 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for best book, and a finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, and 'Animal Factory,' an acclaimed investigation into the environmental impact of factory farms which NPR compared to Upton Sinclair’s classic work 'The Jungle.' His latest book, 'Death at SeaWorld,' was previewed by Library Journal, which wrote: “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigate work.” Booklist called the book “gripping” and “hard to put down.”
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