4 out of 4 stars
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A captain and his crew abandon their burning ship and set off in the unpredictable waters of the North Pacific. Now, their lifeboats are adrift. How will they get out of a mess like this?
Adrift is the stand-alone sequel to Strong Heart. At its core, Adrift is a fascinating tale of courage, friendship, love, loss, and hope with a hint of spiritual mystery. It's a gripping narrative revealing the dangers of being off course in treacherous waters. The captain, Steve Procida, and his crew are aboard Seattle Express, a ship sailing in the North Pacific. But when a fire breaks out on the ship, they are confronted with a life-threatening situation. In these circumstances, they are left with no other choice but to abandon the ship. They decide to split up into two groups and get aboard two separate lifeboats in hopes of finding refuge. But the weather is far from accommodating, and they are drifting away in wild waters not knowing what would come next. Meanwhile, the radio broadcast about the burning Seattle Express is out. In the desperate pursuit of making a claim on the burning ship, Louise and Larry Hunt get aboard their old tugboat, Warhorse, and set out to tow the ship before the people from Buckhorn Corporation get there to take the ship in their possession. Amidst all this, there is also a soft side to the plotline as it explores the subject of innate human behavior and tendencies in distressing times.
The author, Charlie Sheldon, is very adept at storytelling and this shows through his writing. He has described the perils of being adrift in the unknown with skill and fluency, and all the written scenes are effective enough to produce vivid images in a reader's mind. The thrilling aspect of the story goes well with the subtle depiction of the human nature. Chapters are written from the perspective of characters, and narration alternates between first person and third person. This book has a character-driven plot. There are many characters interspersed within the narrative, and all of them get intertwined with each other as the tale unfolds. Even though it takes some time to find out what makes these characters tick, many of them are quite likable.
Most notable is the characterization of the human spirit. Many of the characters demonstrate a firm belief in the power of optimism, which becomes evident from time to time. Characters like William, Anne, Myra, and Sarah remind us that even the most hopeless situation can be turned around if we hold on to our spirit and trust our intuition.
I like that the plot is fast-paced; it pulls you in and will not let you astray. The increase in anticipation with each passing chapter keeps you hooked to the book. Moreover, the story flows effortlessly. The characters are so appealing that it's hard to believe that they are part of a fictional creation. I was engrossed in the book from the very first page—so much so that I wanted to read the whole thing at once. I don't think there is anything I detest about the book. I did find some grammatical errors, but they were insignificant considering the length of the book and didn't disrupt the flow of my reading. I would say this book is professionally edited.
There are very few instances of gruesome scenes involving blood and injury, but I think these can be easily skipped by those who find it disturbing. Skipping these parts will not interfere in the comprehension of the storyline. All in all, it's a brilliant story of grit, family ties, and friendships. This is an absolute page-turner, so I'm rating it 4 out of 4 stars. Those interested in reading thrillers or a bold sea adventure should definitely consider this book.
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