4 out of 4 stars
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Captain Steve Procida wakes up on Seattle Express, Buckhorn’s container ship, to clanging fire alarms. With the help of his crew, Steve determines the severity of the fire and decides that they need to abandon ship. Steve and nine of the crew get on one lifeboat, while William and the other ten crew members get on a second lifeboat. Before abandoning ship, Steve radios Buckhorn headquarters to report the fire, the position of the ship, and its ultimate abandonment. As Buckhorn orders two tugboats to rescue the burning ship, Louise, who is co-owner of Sol Duc Towing, hears the orders over the radio transmission. Sol Duc Towing is hurting financially, and Louise decides that their company is going to be the one to claim Seattle Express first with their tugboat, Warhorse. While all the action is happening in the Gulf of Alaska, Buckhorn wants permission to mine for erbium, which is on a piece of ground in the township of Sol Duc. The race is on. Will the separated crew survive? Will the entire crew be rescued? Who will claim the abandoned ship first? Will Buckhorn get permission to mine?
Adrift, which can be read as a standalone, is the second book in the Strong Heart series by Charlie Sheldon. It is a work of literature with a mix of adventure, suspense, and a touch of the supernatural. Sheldon presents six viewpoints: two are in the first person (Steve and Myra) and four are in the third person (Louise, Travis, Pete, and William). The story covers a span of seventeen days starting on December fifth and ending on December twenty-first.
I thought Sheldon did an excellent job moving the story along. With six main characters, he clearly marked each chapter with the character’s name, which aided in building and moving the story forward. The setting was vivid and exhilarating. In several scenarios, I felt I was on the storm-tossed ship, the lifeboats, or the tugboat battling the frigid air. All the characters unfolded nicely revealing their strengths and flaws.
Having never been on a boat or a ship, I liked learning about the parts of the ship; for example, port means the left side of the ship and starboard means the right side of the ship. Another fact I didn’t know is that type O blood refers to a specific race. Throughout the book, Sheldon writes brief scenes that incorporate current issues, such as global warming, climate change, and religious prejudice. I didn’t like the vast number of characters. While the high number is what gives this story its complexity, it also makes it confusing and hard to remember all the names along with their title and purpose.
There were a few errors, such as punctuation, formatting, missing words, and wrong words, but they didn’t interfere with the storyline. I thought Adrift was full of adventure, with suspense and supernatural undertones. The story was fully developed and had unexpected twists, with vivid settings and believable characters. While I didn’t like the numerous characters, they were needed to make this an involved and interesting novel. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure, suspense, and complex storylines. I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers because there are several traumatic scenes.
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