2 out of 4 stars
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16-year-old James loves being out on his paddleboard, so when his mother suggests a beach vacation, James jumps at the chance. Distraught over his dad’s recent separation from the family, James hopes that this trip will lift his spirits.
Hoping to spend every waking moment in the water, he quickly sets out on his board. As he is finishing up on the beach one day, he notices a USB stick lying on the sand. He promptly takes it to the library to get more information, but it is password protected. When he sees two men putting up flyers about a missing USB stick, he knows that he has found the owners and that the information must be very important.
Relieved that their USB has been found, David and Greg quickly befriend James. The men work for DASCU (Drugs and Serious Crimes Unit) and recruit James to help them bring down a notorious drug dealer. Suddenly feeling as though he has a purpose, James believes that everything is coming together thanks to his newfound faith in God. He has made some wonderful new friends; his relationship with his mother is improving, and James believes that it is all part of God’s plan. James prays that God’s plan involves being reunited with his dad and successfully bringing down the drug dealer. Will his prayers be answered before it is too late?
Waterman’s Fire by Angela Nowak is a novel for young adults. The book relies heavily on Christian faith and includes some scriptures from the Bible. It begins with small mentions here and there but becomes a strong fixture in the last half of the story. While the blurb describing the book intrigued me, I quickly found that the writing left more to be desired. The plotline had great potential, but the transitions from one event to another often lacked detail.
With that being said, there were some things I liked about the book. I enjoyed following James’s character as he began to come out of his shell and take chances on things he wouldn’t usually take chances on such as, working on the secret mission with his new friends, asking his crush out, and embracing God. The author did an excellent job of showing James evolve throughout his summer vacation.
My favorite aspect of this book was the main character’s love for the ocean. Nothing made James feel more fulfilled than when he was riding a wave, and his passion for the water radiated off the pages.
Waterman’s Fire would likely benefit from another round of editing as I found a handful of mistakes. It mainly consisted of small errors that would be easy to fix. I have chosen to give this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. There were elements that I enjoyed, but the lack of detail and the spelling errors prevented me from giving it a higher rating.
I would not recommend this book to readers who follow another religion other than Christianity as it is laden with musings about God. Some parts may offend readers such as the author’s apparent distaste for same-sex marriage, and I would strongly dissuade anyone from the LGBT community from reading this book. The characters rely on their faith for direction and attribute success and happiness to daily prayers. I would recommend Waterman’s Fire to teen readers that like books about self-discovery, perseverance, and following God’s plan.
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