Review by Rachel Lea -- Adrift by Charlie Sheldon

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Rachel Lea
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Review by Rachel Lea -- Adrift by Charlie Sheldon

Post by Rachel Lea » 24 May 2019, 15:42

[Following is a volunteer review of "Adrift" by Charlie Sheldon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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On a bitterly cold December morning in the Gulf of Alaska—on a Sunday at 4 a.m., the seas angry and rough—Captain Steve Procida wakes sharply to the blare of an alarm outside his cabin. His sleep has been fitful—he’s having that nightmare again about his son—but he knows exactly what the alarm signals. His container ship, the Seattle Express, has caught fire.

Thus begins a stirring, edge-of-your-seat adventure tale told from multiple points of view that follows the harrowing loss of the Seattle Express at sea and the race-against-time to locate the ship’s survivors before they meet a watery end out in the frigid North Pacific. To go more in detail would spoil the brilliant twists and turns the plot takes—to put it simply, this story doesn’t end the way you think it will!

Veteran seaman Charlie Sheldon’s Adrift starts off with a bang—quite literally—and never lets the reader off the hook until the last page. The author’s storytelling is masterful. He juggles the narratives of six distinct and well-developed characters with ease and weaves the few subplots together seamlessly into one cohesive and compelling story. He changes the point of view with each chapter but never in a way that makes the reader lose the flow of the story; the changes instead infuse a never-ending sense of urgency. He brings in a fascinating Native American cultural element as well, through two of the lead characters, which I also really enjoyed and thought made the story richer.

Despite the overall stellar quality of this book, there are a few minor issues I have with it that might just be personal opinions on my part but still bother me. Several side characters—in particular one lead’s ex-wife, the lawyers representing the power-hungry corporation that owns the Seattle Express, and also one religiously-oriented sailor—were written in what I felt was a stereotypical manner. This was not enough to significantly take away from the story for me, but it did make me raise an eyebrow and wish that more creativity was put into these characters’ development.

The one other issue I have is that while the author did a great job of making sure to tie up loose ends, I thought some of the subplots concluded a little too cleanly and a little too hastily. This felt somewhat unrealistic, but again, not in a way that significantly lessoned my enjoyment of the book.

Sheldon’s knowledge of the sea and of sailing is markedly evident, which makes Adrift even more of a thrilling and wonderful experience to read. Overall, I rate this book a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars. The manuscript appears to be professionally edited, as I found very few errors. There is frequent swearing and one gory scene where a character suffers a grave injury, but otherwise the book is clean. The swearing makes sense given the rough background of many of the characters.

Anyone who enjoys a riveting adventure story that’s infused with a lot of heart and humanity—and plenty of sailors’ jargon and Native American lore—will enjoy Adrift. I know I loved this book immensely!

******
Adrift
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Post by Prisallen » 16 Jun 2019, 03:19

I read this story and enjoyed it thoroughly as well. Thanks for a very informative and well-written review!

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Post by Janalyn101 » 16 Jun 2019, 07:39

What a great review! I totally agree about it being wrapped up in a neat bow at the end. I still thought this was a great book and a great review!

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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea » 16 Jun 2019, 09:20

Prisallen wrote: ↑
16 Jun 2019, 03:19
I read this story and enjoyed it thoroughly as well. Thanks for a very informative and well-written review!
Thank you so much, Prisallen! :)
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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea » 16 Jun 2019, 09:21

Janalyn101 wrote: ↑
16 Jun 2019, 07:39
What a great review! I totally agree about it being wrapped up in a neat bow at the end. I still thought this was a great book and a great review!
Thank you, Janalyn101! :D
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Post by BuzzingQuill » 16 Jun 2019, 10:16

(spoilers below)

Fantastic review! I read the book and share a lot of your same thoughts. Also, I didn't pick up on how the lawyers were so stereotypically written, I mean the, showing up at the funeral was pretty over-the-top when I think back

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Post by Rachel Lea » 16 Jun 2019, 11:03

BuzzingQuill wrote: ↑
16 Jun 2019, 10:16
(spoilers below)

Fantastic review! I read the book and share a lot of your same thoughts. Also, I didn't pick up on how the lawyers were so stereotypically written, I mean the, showing up at the funeral was pretty over-the-top when I think back
Yes, I thought so, too. I still liked that there was a happy ending, but, yeah, I wish there had been a little more creativity in how all of the characters' problems were resolved. Thank you so much for your comments! :)
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Post by CommMayo » 16 Jun 2019, 11:47

Plenty of "sailors' jargon"...sign me up! Sounds like quite the entertaining read, but as a boater myself...I tend to avoid stories centered around tragedy at sea.

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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea » 16 Jun 2019, 18:37

CommMayo wrote: ↑
16 Jun 2019, 11:47
Plenty of "sailors' jargon"...sign me up! Sounds like quite the entertaining read, but as a boater myself...I tend to avoid stories centered around tragedy at sea.
I can definitely understand that... Thank you so much for your comments! :)
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