Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A Novel That Inspires and Tells a Good Yarn? Yes, Please!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Architect Vance Nolan has created something both unique and amazing—luxury apartments that float in a quiet cove on the Mississippi River.  If the costly condos don't quite fit the 31-year-old's more altruistic vision for the property, well, what's done is done.  Without financial help from wealthy real estate developer Tony Dean, the project never would have happened in the first place.  Despite his contempt for Dean, Vance is determined to make the buildings on the water as sound and safe as he can.  The well-being  of the apartments' occupants, a few of whom have already moved in, are his first priority.

One day, while working at the site, Vance notices something strange—he can't hear the birds.  This departure from the norm sends shivers of warning down his spine.  Moments later, a sinkhole gives way.  A wild storm follows in its wake, unleashing torrential rain on the cove.  In the chaos, condos sway on their foundations, the electricity goes out and massive flooding makes escape impossible.  Vance is trapped on the isolated cove along with a small group of construction workers, residents and investors.  As days pass without rescue, those who remain must make a choice—hunker down in the unstable condos until the storm subsides or brave the heaving waters in hopes of reaching safer ground.  

As tension mounts between the survivors, alliances are formed and broken, shocking secrets are brought to light, and a blind man may be the only one who knows the way out.  The old man's visions, along with the strange, supernatural lights shimmering beneath the water convinces Vance of an otherworldly presence in the cove.  He just can't decide what it means.  Does Vance have any hope of saving his motley band of survivors from this and every other potential threat?  Or are they all doomed to dark, watery graves? 

When I read the plot summary for Afloat by Erin Healy, I couldn't help being intrigued by its eerie tone.  I wasn't sure quite what to expect from the story, but I'll tell you what I got:  a tight, complex plot; intriguing characters; an uplifting Christian vibe; and a captivating supernatural element that gave the book an ethereal, almost dream-like quality.  Afloat tells an intense survival story, yes, but there's so much more to the novel.  It's a unique, faith-promoting read that achieves something a lot of inspirational-type tales don't—it inspires while giving readers a gripping, well-constructed story that they won't want to put down.  A winning combination, for sure.      

(Readalikes:  Afloat actually reminded me quite a bit of the t.v. show Lost)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for intense situations and mild sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Afloat at Target with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

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