Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "Day Four" by Sarah Lotz

Day Four (The Three #2)
Author: Sarah Lotz
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: Four planes.  Three survivors.  One message.  It seemed like the end of the world...but it wasn't.  This, however, just might be.
Four days into a five day singles cruise on the Gulf of Mexico, the aging ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water.  With no electricity and no cellular signals, the passengers and crew have no way to call for help.  But everyone is certain that rescue teams will come looking for them soon.  All they have to do is wait.

That is, until the toilets stop working and the food begins to run out.  When the body of a woman is discovered in her cabin, the passengers start to panic.  There's a murderer on board the Beautiful Dreamer...and maybe something worse.

Personal Review: After reading the first book in the series, I was not as impressed as I wanted to be based on the premise.  It fell a little flat, but I didn't want to give up on it altogether, so I decided to check out the sequel and see how it fared, and it didn't a little better.  In the first book, you had a story about four plane crashes that had three mysterious child survivors, and this time, we're going from flying to cruising.

Everyone's ready to party aboard a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico for New Year's.  Then, on the final day, everything takes a turn for the worse when the ship just stops dead with no way to signal for help.  With the bathrooms not working, food starting to go bad and run out, it's certainly instilling an understandable sense of dread among the 3,000 guests.  As you can imagine, when you're on a floating city that's basically been stripped of all the modern conveniences, people are going to get restless, making it easier for their "world" to slip into anarchy.

Then the creepy things start happening.  Superstitious crew members start seeing visions of the Lady in White who haunts the ship, a child is spotted running around the decks of an adults-only cruise, several people start exhibiting strange behavior, and a dead body pops up.  With all these questions, tensions are getting higher, tempers are rising, people start panicking, and the open bar isn't helping matters either.

The writing style in this entry was much better than the first book, and it flowed better as well.  Since the action of this book was tied to one fixed location, this helped in focusing all actions on this one cruise ship to make it less disjointed than the previous novel.  And I don't know how much of a "sequel" this book is.  There's no obvious ties to the first novel and it comes across almost as a standalone novel, so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy this one.

It was a good page-turner, the action on the ship kept me interested and invested, but the character development was lacking just a little bit.  But as a horror/thriller read, it was well-developed.  It'd dark, scary, atmospheric, and written so that you (as the reader) become a bit on edge too...not that a cruise vacation was every something I wanted to do, but hey, this just strengthens that.

Lotz's writing style was also great in this entry, with the author able to construct a world built in fantasy, but make it realistic through her presentation, while keeping it haunting and creepy.  It was more elegant in nature than her previous novel (flowing better).  What I am interested in is knowing whether or not this series will end up being a trilogy or longer, how the first two stories will be tied together, etc., but it's enough to keep me interested in knowing where the author will go next.

If I can pick out one negative item, it's the open ending.  I didn't want that in this story, and it reminded me of "The Life of Pi," which I loved that book except for the ending.  This wasn't a story where I wanted it left up to my interpretation as to what happened or where the story ended up.  I mean, I have my thoughts, but darn it, I want to know what the author thought.  Don't take me on a ride, bound for some highly sought after destination, and then drop me off 100 miles before we get to where we were supposed to go.  I don't have time for that.

That being said, if you enjoy a good thriller, this book has enough good points to keep you interested and invested if you pick it up and read.  You don't need to read the first book to enjoy this one; however, when the author adds additional entries into the series, you may want to go back and do so if they're all going to tie together somehow.  But overall, it was a good read.

No comments:

Post a Comment