4 out of 4 stars
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Adrift by Charles Sheldon is a sequel to Strong Heart but a stand-alone novel. It started when the Seattle Express caught fire and was abandoned. Steve, the captain, was forced to abandon his ship after they did everything to stop the fire. The crew and two Russian passengers split up to two lifeboats that adrift the sea. It would not be terrible, but it was December with harsh weather and the coldest time of the year. Warhorse, a veteran, and private tug were on the brink of bankruptcy, and their ultimate hope was to hook the Seattle Express and haul it to the dock. But it meant they have to beat the tugs owned by the Buckhorn's, also the owner of the abandoned ship.
The story unfolded through the eyes of several characters: Steve, Louise, Travis, Pete, William, and Myra. Each has stories to tell and ordeals to overcome. The character's individuality was there, yet somehow connected and related to each other. What happened to Strong Heart was also briefly touched, told through the characters' perspective.
Adrift is suspense and with a slice of life type of novel. The title might be confused with a movie that was released last year (2018) with the same title. It's also a story about survival: survival of those that abandoned the Seattle Express; survival of a company and the marriage of Louise and Larry; the strength of Pete to recover from a gunshot wound and fight for the custody of his son, Sam; survival of Steve's career so that he can continue to support his son, Jimmie; and a tribe's fight to preserve their land and save the artifacts in it. Even if there were many characters, it wasn't confusing because the reader gets to know them, witness their lives unfold and realize each was somehow intertwined. There were even applaudable side characters.
What I like most about the book is that it engages you to keep on reading. Every point of view compels and pulls your curiosity as to what is going to happen to this or that character. Since you sympathize with the characters, there are times that you'll feel sad or happy for them. The writer's attack on emotion is quite commendable. Every chapter is a cliff hanger. When one problem or conflict is resolved, another one is looming. I applaud this style that justifies why it is a suspense novel. Furthermore, the characters here are not just friends they radiate the warmth of a family. Friends coming from afar provide support and even help through the toughest times. It showed that ties are not just with a blood relation, but a greater bond than families.
What I don't like about this novel is the difficulty to imagine what is going on if you’re unversed or not familiar with the parts of a ship. In spite of that, the writer did not fail to explain and include the protocols. I can recommend this book to readers who like suspense and drama types of novels. The pacing is just right, not dragging. It is eloquently written, and if there are grammatical errors, I was so caught up in the story that I overlooked it. I think it is professionally edited. If you are looking for action-packed suspense or a romance story, then this book is not for you.
I give Adrift 4 out of 4 stars for keeping me on the edge while reading, and for making me yearn for another sequel.
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