4 out of 4 stars
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Call me a nerd, but I would claim that any book that starts with a detailed map illustrating the setting of the story to follow is off to a great start. Charlie Sheldon’s Adrift is set in the Pacific Northwest where in the middle of December the container ship Seattle Express experiences a devastating fire that forces the crew to evacuate the ship aboard two lifeboats. One of the lifeboats, under the leadership of the ship’s captain, is found quickly by the search team. The other lifeboat has no way of communicating and is washed onto the shore of a remote weather-beaten island off the Canadian coast. The disaster touches the life of different people whose stories the author skillfully weaves together.
One storyline follows the crew of a tug boat company located in Sol Duc, Washington who decide to race to the abandoned ship, claim it and haul it back to shore in hopes of a substantial reward. This comes at great risk and sacrifice for the crew. Another part of the story introduces the reader to the daughter of one of the lost crew and the race to find her father with the help of her friends.
I very much enjoyed reading this book for several reasons. The story contains interesting characters who are directly or indirectly linked together by the tragedy. Sheldon’s description of the disaster, the escape in the lifeboats and the struggle to survive is a riveting read and kept me engaged throughout the whole book. The author masterfully developed a story of tragedy and human survival instinct. The book is divided into chapters written from the perspective of different protagonists. The author switches between first person and third person point of view for different characters. This is an interesting way of telling a story and I think it works well in this book. The characters were developed with each one having a unique personal story that could each be a story in itself.
There was nothing negative that I could say about this book and the writing style of the author. I believe that this book would appeal to readers that enjoy dramatic stories with diverse characters. Living in the Pacific Northwest myself, I connected with some of the places described in the book.
I give this book an overall rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The book was professionally edited. The author’s experience traveling the sea and his knowledge of the Pacific Northwest shines through the story. After I finished reading the book, I learned that Adrift is the second part of Sheldon’s Strong Heart series. It did not take anything away from the story not having read the first book. On the contrary, I am now curious to read the first book.
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