I’ve heard a lot of comparisons between this book and Indiana Jones. And I must say, I totally agree.
Indiana Jones1 was never going to win Best Picture from the Academy but they were always super fun, and the type of movies you could watch over and over again. So, too, was this book.
Camille is the daughter of a well-off man who owns a shipping company in San Fransisco in the late 1800s. She’s been raised on ships, she loves sailing, and all things to do with the sea. She is quite put out by the prospect of her upcoming marriage and that she will no longer be able to sail.
Camille is such a great lead. Fun, spirited, determined. But not perfect. She makes mistakes and messes things up and keeps things interesting. And she wishes so hard to be the girl her father wants her to be and at the same time wishes that her father, and society, could just accept her the way she is. She was also a girl of action, which I really liked. When her father dies at the beginning she doesn’t wallow or bemoan her fate, she sets a course of action and sticks to it. Even when common sense says she should turn back.
Camille’s two travelling campanions, Oscar and Ira, were fun and while Ira was probably my favourite character, I really enjoyed Oscar as a love interest. As Camille’s father had rescued him from a life of poverty you could tell that he wanted to respect the old man’s wishes and standby while Camille married someone rich and respectable. But you could also tell that Oscar loved Camille and probably had for years. His struggle and devotion to Camille was sweet and endearing without making him a pansy, as it were.
I liked Ira because he was simple and fun.
This was one of those books where the characters were so well constructed that I could see scenes that weren’t in the book. Does that make sense? Their motivations, personalities, and actions all fit together so well that I could readily imagine events leading up to the book that put all the characters in the places they were.
My favourite thing about the plot was how it wasn’t really a fantasy. There was a fantastical element but it didn’t change the way everyone viewed the world. And I had the feeling that after everything was over all of the characters went back to a normal life without thinking of the existence of magical things. If I had to classify it as anything, I would call it a quest novel. As it is the journey that is important, not the magic or the action, although those two things are there as well.
Throughout the book Camille is trying to make a choice between two individuals and, I have to be rather vague about this as I don’t want to give anything away, I liked how the end revealed to her that she had been thinking about the two choices in the wrong way. It wasn’t a choice between marrying this man or marrying this other man. It was a choice about who she was and how she was going to live her life.
Also, as a warning, there is a scene in this book with giant spiders. Like…the stuff of nightmares. That scene was very disturbing for me. *shudder*
Tomorrow on the blog we will be doing something a new and (hopefully) exciting. We have a fun giveaway and are doing it a little differently than normal.
I don’t want to give it away but tune in tomorrow at 8pm CST. Hint: you might want to brush up on some werewolf trivia. And maybe figure out who Shay Doran is.
1 The first three Indiana Jones movies that is. I like to pretend the fourth one doesn’t exist.