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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Disjointed Titanic Tale Just Okay

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Jane Taylor's used to living an unconventional life.  It's all the 16-year-old's ever known, thanks to her mother's (self-proclaimed) calling as a psychic.  But it's not all she wants.  Jane would love to trade tiny Spirit Vale—a community of mystics near Niagra Falls—for the bustle of the big city.  There, she could be a real journalist, hobnobbing with real people, not watching her mother charm customers out of their hard-earned dollars.  Little does Jane know just how far fate will take her.

When an admirer of Jane's mother sends the family tickets to cross the Atlantic in order to attend a spiritualist convention in London, Jane can hardly believe it.  She has little interest in spiritualism, the value of which she doubts very highly, but a great desire to converse with interesting people, of which she meets many.  Among them are several with uneasy feelings about the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, which will be occurring in a few days.  Jane doesn't believe in such mumbo jumbo.  At least she doesn't think she does.  But, with two of her sister aboard the ship, can she afford to take the chance?  If Nikola Tesla—a famed, if eccentric scientist—is to be believed, something is terribly wrong with Titanic.  What, if anything, can she do?  And what does Tesla have to do with the fate of the ship? 

It's been awhile since I read Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. This plot of this genre-bender shoots off in all kinds of directions, making it a disjointed and sometimes confusing tale.  While I loved the very ending of the story, other parts of it had me yawning.  I felt the same way about the characters—while they were intriguing, none of them really, really spoke to me.  On the whole, then, I'm kind of ambivalent about this one.  In the end, I found it just okay.  

(Readalikes:  It's like a lot of other Titanic novels, just with a twist.)

Grade:  C

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Distant Waves from the generous folks at Scholastic.  Thank you!


  1. I've never been a fan of Titanic stories.

    1. I usually like them, even though they're predictable (spoiler alert: the boat sinks)and this one WAS a *little* different. Still, it just didn't come together very well for me, you know?


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