Turbulence and Triumph #1
Lost Plot Press, Sep 2014
Kindle, 172 Pages
Also available in paperback
Genre(s) Fairy Re-tale in 6 Parts
Turbulence and Triumph #2
Lost Plot Press, Sep 2014
Kindle, 158 Pages
Also available in paperback
Genre(s) Fairy Re-tale
Other books in this series:
Ocean’s Triumph #3, Ocean’s Ride #4, Ocean’s Cage #5, Ocean’s Birth #6
I was provided complimentary copies of these books. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
What it’s about…Ocean’s Justice
This is the first part of six, so there is no ending to this book. The story stops at a stopping place and picks up in the next book. To get the whole story, you must read all six books. I’m reviewing only the two that I read. This first one finds our main character, Maria, adrift on a raft at sea. She’s nude, speaks no English (the language of the sailors of this ship that “rescue” her), but understands some Dutch. She has memories of a ship’s fire and men died when the ship sunk. She remembers a man named Giuseppe. And she has been turned out of her home for some reason.
William McGregor is a handsome Scotsman. He’s a passenger on the Trevessa, looking for a bit of adventure along with his employment. He’s not adverse to a lovely lady either. Mr. McGregor gives Maria his protection as the superstitious sailors are all for tossing the beautiful woman back to the ocean when she can’t tell them her story. Either that or raping her. But William can’t be everywhere to protect her, even though he tries.
In spite of lifeboats and the Captain’s infamous canned milk, the weather, the sea, and sailors’ superstitions have their way. Once more, Maria is adrift at sea and picked up by another ship. This time she’s better prepared.
The cover is a bit on the plain side to me. Though I liked it. There are two covers, it seems. The one I had is the one with the mermaid on it that I show above. I like the composition and all. I just think it needs more color and embellishment, a bit more drama to make it match the story that’s in the book.
The storyline is good. It’s not totally original as this is a retelling of the fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. I haven’t read the original story. I suppose someday I should do that since there are so many retellings of it these days. I should know what the original is so I can tell what these other authors are changing or embellishing.
The characters were fairly good. It was difficult to really know any particular character. There wasn’t a lot of background on anyone. I think Mr. McGregor got the most detail actually. Maria is still something of a mystery, though you are supposed to “know” her already by knowing what she is. Ms. Carlton added some interesting touches to the crew, like Mr. Kaito, the green-tea drinking cook with the interesting fighting style. And Captain Foster who wanted all lifeboats to be stocked with canned milk. There’s also young Charlie, who thinks Maria should be his because of their age similarities. He keeps interrupting William and Maria to get her to come and do things with him.
The pace was fast. Poor Mr. McGregor was kept really busy trying to keep Maria safe. Between the weather and the other sailors with their ill intent, he really had his hands full right up until the final storm. That’s when Maria took a hand in things, too.
The tension was pretty consistent right up until the end. It was like waiting to see who was going to stick a knife in your back in a dark place. Who’s going to kill William? Or who was going to get their hands on Maria? What will the next rescue lead to?
What it’s about…Ocean’s Trial
This book starts off right where the first one ends. Maria’s been rescued by an English-speaking crew again, but this time there’s no threat to her life. She’s been kept a secret and smuggled to shore in Fremantle to live with Merry D’Angelo, a very nice widow. Her command of English has improved greatly, thanks to Merry, and she’s posing as Merry’s niece, a fisherman’s widow.
She’s working hard alongside the fishermen helping sell their fish and has earned their respect because she really knows her fish. There’s one young fisherman who feels a lot more than respect for her, too. Tony and Maria work closely together and are great friends, and Tony would like to take their friendship further. But her pasts are catching up with her. Yes. Pasts. She needs to find out what happened to William McGregor in that final storm. Is he still alive and does he still love her? But older connections are catching up with her as well. And these may prove deadly.
The cover wasn’t one that I really cared for. I didn’t feel it said much about the story. There were so many dramatic scenes that could have been depicted on it. What was used was disappointingly drab.
The storyline is again, a continuation of the retelling of The Little Mermaid story. The author has created a wonderful “down under” freedom to the story by placing it in Australia.
The characters continue to develop as the story continues. We learn so much more about Maria’s story when she meets up with a significant person from her past. We learn more about how her species see humans, as well and how different she really is.
The pace continues fast and furious in this second book, especially once Maria decides to take off on her journey.
The tension remained consistent throughout this second book. While some questions were answered from the first book, there were more questions piled on that now need answers and make you want to pick up the third book to get them.
And this is where you STOP reading if you don’t want any SPOILERS…
The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰
I kept trying to remind myself that voyages such as these would take months to complete and that there would be plenty of time for Maria to learn the language. However, there was nothing in the story to make me slow down and keep that thought in my head. Everything was happening fast and furious, so it seemed like she was something of a “Super Woman” learning the language very quickly with William. Then when she was with Merry, she learned to speak and act like a lady in a very short time. That was another leap forward.
It wasn’t just the language, either. She understood the value of those pearls when she found the moaning oysters. She understood the beauty of them for jewelry and had a necklace made, as well the financial aspect of them and how to get the best price for them. All this for a simple girl from the sea? Hhmmmm…
When Maria has her confrontation with her mother, her mother says Maria should just seduce the human male and get pregnant, then kill him and come home to become the head of the Council. Since Maria’s older sister is dead, it is Maria’s duty. There is a comment made about the older sister’s death, but no explanation about how she died. Is Maria responsible for her sister’s death somehow? Is that why she is banned from her home? Is getting pregnant by a human the only way she will be allowed to come home? I’m still confused about that. I still want an answer to that part. But Maria doesn’t see humans as disposable. She’s in love with William. She loves Merry almost as a mother. She loves Tony sort of like a brother, but maybe as more. That’s why she needs to find out if William is still alive and loves her.
BTW, this being adrift thing is getting a bit old. She starts out adrift on a raft and the Trevessa picks her up. Then the Trevessa sinks in a storm and she’s adrift in a lifeboat for Merry’s friends to find her. Then at the end where she stows away on the way to Christmas Island. That’s almost as bad as adrift. One of these days, she’s going to have to buy a ticket and get her own cabin. She probably doesn’t have that kind of luck. Seems to me the story of The Little Mermaid is a sad one all the way to the end.
You need to understand that I really do judge covers! Not with stars, but I love a great cover on a good book. There were so many good things that could have been on this second cover. Maria could have been in a lifeboat. They could have used the pearls somehow and brought that part out. Or Maria perched on the ship as she stowed away to Christmas Island. Maria at the fish market with that huge fish that only she could identify would have been a great cover.
These are the four covers for the other books in this series. I haven’t read these books (just the synopses), but I feel they probably could be better, too. The one I like the best is the last one on Ocean’s Birth. It shows the drama of what Maria is up against and the main cause of the drama without giving away any part of the story. It is too dark, though.