3 out of 4 stars
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Sulu Sea, by Marshall Riggan, is unlike any other story I’ve read. It’s set in present day times, but reminds me of an old time sailing adventure from the past. Captain Joaquin O’Hara was once the captain of a luxurious cruise ship, the Sulu Sea. When the ship crashes one fateful night, Joaquin is blamed and his reputation is tarnished. He ends up working on a small steamer ship transporting cargo, oftentimes illegal items. He is joined by Toussaint, his faithful companion and first mate. When they agree to help transport items for Gabriela Torres, the runaway wife of a drug lord, their lives change drastically. She becomes part of the crew, more like family. Along the way they also pick up the beautiful Valentina, and as they travel through Central America and the Caribbean they all go through a lot together.
What I liked most about the book was how fast the story moved. Joaquin and his friends moved from one situation to another. A few times, it seemed like the story would be wrapping up, but then something new happened. They traveled to many different places in the Caribbean. They had happy times, sad times, and downright scary times. They dealt with pirates, drug lords, and stolen children. It truly was an adventure to read. There were also plot twists that I didn’t see coming. My jaw physically dropped at one point.
What I liked least about the book was how unbelievable some parts of the story were. Joaquin and his crew got into some crazy situations. They were life or death situations. For the most part, they came out of these situations unharmed, or with injuries they were miraculously able to recover from. There were times where they definitely should have died, but didn’t. For example, Joaquin and Gabriela were stuck in a prison at one point. Toussaint was able to swoop in and send them help to escape at just the right second. Another time, Joaquin and Valentina parachute into a tiny compound at night and come out alive. It all was very unrealistic. I can’t fault the author too much, though, because I loved the characters and would have been very upset if anything bad happened to them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure. Having an interest in sailing would help, too, since there are parts of the book dedicated to sailing and it gets a little technical. There is some romance sprinkled throughout as well, but those parts are easy to gloss over if they don’t interest the reader. This is definitely a book for adults, as well. There is foul language, sex, gory violence, rape and some death included.
I would rate Sulu Sea 3 out of 4 stars. I wouldn’t give it any lower because I loved the fast-paced story. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to the characters. I can’t give it a 4, though, because the book needs to be professionally edited. It was filled with errors, and there were too many to overlook.
Sulu Sea is, at its core, a story of adventure, redemption, and romance. It’s a page turner and I highly recommend it to those who like adventure stories!
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