Review from e-book
Is he alive or is he dead? That is the question...
Well-written, suspenseful, hauntingly surreal and atmospheric twisting between paranormal and magical, this book took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the camaraderie between Captain Shelby and the young Ethan Hodges. But is he responsible for the death of Ethan's parents? The young man spends most of his time on the beach with his friend Morgan Olinsworth, so naturally he notices the strange rocks that have suddenly appeared out in the water. Very strange rocks; too well-shaped, too quickly making an appearance and too spooky, bringing goosebumps and shuddering at their odd arrival. What are these mysterious creations? Ethan is determined to snorkel down with Morgan to have a look. Some things are best left alone.
With the appearance of Captain Shelby, a grizzled old man of the sea who lives on a fishing boat as grizzled as he, a warning is given that some things should be left alone and never questioned. Captain Shelby has been a fixture for as long as any resident remembers and always old. His background, as far as can be discovered when Morgan the librarian does some digging, takes his line back to Norwegian roots transplanted to Newfoundland, but this doesn't solve the riddle, it increases it because the names are the same and there is no other history. The stories surrounding the Captain tear at the psyche. Is he responsible for the many odd storms, storms that can even bury a village or uncover a long-buried one? Or is this Atlantic coast village itself jinxed? So many questions, yet some will be answered. Where most citizens of Pelican Bay are fearful of Captain Shelby, Ethan feels connected to him, in fact he the feelings he has for the ancient Captain are those one would feel for a kindly grandfather.
Jesse Giles Christiansen has written this book constantly questioning the connection between Captain Shelby and the sea, almost one and the same. I'm sure Jesse must be an architect, because he has built this story in a well-planned manner with many levels of curiosity and suspense with a bit of horror thrown in for added structural support. Yet the connection between the Captain and Ethan is almost magical. There are so many different nuances to the story, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am thrilled to learn this is the first in a planned series, and I will be first in line when the second installment is out, I can't wait.