4 out of 4 stars
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What will you do if your ship catches fire and goes out of order? It is the time when your stamina, courage, loyalty, and faith in God are tested. The same happened with the crew of the ship “The Seattle Express.” They had to adrift for days in a treacherous North Pacific Ocean along the Northwest Coast of North America. The Adrift by Charlie Sheldon is the stand-alone sequel to the Strong Heart Series. It is an informative and adventurous tale of hope, courage, and survival that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats until they reach the last page of the book.
Adrift is the story of a ship “The Seattle Express” that was going to Seattle in the Gulf of Alaska. The ship captain woke up on the burning smell. Soon he found his ship has got a fire. All of the crew made an effort to put out the fire, but all in vain. They were left with no choice but to leave the ship and take salvage in two lifeboats. However, the story didn’t end here. There was some business politics going side by side. There was the competition for the salvage claim of the burnt Seattle Express between the Buckhorn Corporation and the Sol Duc Towing Company run by Larry and Louise. At one side, the down-trodden ship crew was struggling for their survival in the merciless water of North Pacific Ocean, on the other side; two marine companies were competing to get the lead over one another. Who will win? We also find some old folks of the Strong Heart Series like William, Myra, Sarah, Tom, and Sergei. What is their contribution in all this fuss? It’s absolutely a compelling story by Charlie Sheldon that will engross the readers with its captivating twists and turns.
First of all, I would say that Charlie Sheldon masterfully weaved a tale by incorporating his professional experience, as a merchant sailor. As an experienced and skilled mariner, he maintains a firm grip on marine dynamics. Just from the beginning, the story takes you into the depth of human emotions and relationships. When Captain Steve found his ship in a stew, his utmost effort was to undo the lingering danger and prevent his crew from some gruesome destiny that might happen with the sinking of the ship. I liked the caring decorum of Captain Steve for his crew when he ordered to rotate the survival suites due to their shortage.
The appealing thing of this book is this that it flows seamlessly with the spectacular transition in narrative and vivid description of scenes with ample liveliness. Each character in the book gets sufficient time, and the readers get the whole overview of almost every character. In other words, we can say the book is divided into many subplots. Each plot exhibits the story of different characters, their background, their issues, the hurdles they face at sea and ground, and their relationship with other characters. Like, the story starts with Captain Steve and includes his fears and hopes in a difficult situation. Next, we move to Louise and Larry who are passing through a difficult marital relationship. In later stages, we meet many old and new characters with their complete details. The burning of the vessel and looking the crew to ward off death-defying situation was so clear; I felt I was watching a movie. Moreover, I like the inclusion of maps of various places where this voyage takes place. It is, especially, very helpful for readers residing outside the USA to get the full grasp of the story and the geography of the Olympic Peninsula.
There were a few things that I found distracting. First of all, the narrative used to demystify seaward incident was sufficiently technical, making it difficult for a layman to figure out these details easily. Secondly, it was a bit slow-paced in the start, candidly speaking, a little boring. However, it gained momentum and liveliness in later stages, and the story sweeps from scene to scene.
In sum, the Adrift is a marvelous tale of survival, hope, and love. The way the author presents the marine life and the emotions mariners feel in this hazardous life are skillfully depicted. I didn’t notice any glaring spelling error or grammar mistake that could hinder the flow of my reading. Hence, I can say it is professionally edited. I rate this fabulous piece of writing 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to all those who are interested in marine adventure stories with a well-developed plot.
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