This book provides a panoramic view of marine life from small to large, deep to surface, near shore to mid-ocean based on very recent research. Although the book contains chapters separately authored by different teams, it is quite cohesive, helped by vivid graphics and maps developed specially for the entire book. The book received the 2010 Association of American Publishers award for excellence in earth and physical sciences. Strong book for courses in marine biology.
This book is expensive. However, it is a great jumping off point for the serious high school student or freshman undergraduate who wishes to get a good overview of techniques and results of the Census of Marine Life (COML). It is well written and walks the line between the well-informed and curious neophyte and the hard-core scientist quite well. It has lot's of great graphics and examples of new and imaginative geospatial mapping techniques. Of course, for the children, there are lot's of photos. It is divided up into different sections based on the different sub-projects of COML. In particular, and most importantly, there is a great chapter on marine microbial diversity based on DNA analysis. Please be aware that this reviewer was part of the COML effort.