Darkly captivating from start to finish
By M. Muir
When the seemingly psychotic hallucinations of a 15-year old boy become entangled with mystical Chinese characters from millennia ago, fantasy and reality spin out of control.
The story begins when a group of unenthusiastic mis-fit, mid-teen kids are unwillingly signed up on a ‘character building’ adventure at sea aboard an ill-named Chinese junk – the ‘Good Fortune’. However, when confronted by his vivid imaginings, James struggles to find himself and in doing so involves his friends and shipmates in a dark and sometimes fatal outcome.
A feeling of foreboding builds from the first chapter and slowly creeps over the ship in a veil of palpable fear. During this time James must decide if the images running rampant in his mind are real or not. Collison’s superb descriptive prose, natural dialogue, plus evocative similes combine to make this book an unforgettable read.
Brilliantly penned by the author - Collison’s extensive research reveals the ritual funerary customs and culture of China’s Peacock Throne during the time of the Ming dynasty. The story is magical, enigmatic, haunting, frightening and downright good.
Whether you are 17 or 70, ‘Water Ghosts’ will grab you and draw you down into a maelstrom of mystery and malevolent spirits sending cold shivers shooting down your spine. I cannot rate this book highly enough.A good read for a variety of age groups.
Intrigue & Mystery
By Judith Randall
Water Ghosts is about adventure on the high seas with seven troubled young teenagers, a salty sea captain whose closest companion is a bottle of booze, a love struck female counselor who is having a romantic interlude with the rugged (but colorful) first mate. There is intrigue and mystery and after getting acquainted with the characters and the unique oddities of these learning mariners, the action kicks in. One mysterious event happens after another and these kids end up on their own and no idea which direction the Good Fortune should be sailing.
Linda did a superb job building James's character. He is a troubled child who hears voices. Much against his will his mother places him in a summer program aboard an old Chinese Junk. James struggles to blend in with his eclectic collection of quirky sailing mates. Hope rises when he becomes smitten with Ming and finds solace in her friendship. Like everyone else Ming made fun of the voices in James heard in his head. There is a surprising twist to the story where the reader is taken back in time to the days of the Imperial Ming Dynasty and James comes to terms with the water ghosts that live in his head. The ending is riveting and James redeems himself.
Linda's style of descriptive writhing seems to make her stories come alive.. I believe this reading would appeal to both genders, perhaps leaning more to the female audience of older adults who might be reading about the destiny of these young kids through the eyes of a mother. I would highly recommend this book for young adults also. I think older adults would enjoy it as well. I enjoyed it and I am an senior. Linda Collison is a very talented writer. I have read her previous works and look forward to reading her next book (Southern fiction) entitled Blue Moon Luck. Solid supernatural thriller on the high seas.
A Suspenseful Multi-Period Thriller for YA and adult audiences
By Eva Ulett
James McCafferty has issues. He watches his volatile mother’s aura change color as she and the unwelcome boyfriend du jour see James off in Honolulu, where he boards a floating teen boot camp called Good Fortune. Aboard this Chinese Junk replica ship, far out in the Pacific, James contends with his attraction to smart fellow camper Ming, his desire not to be despised by the cool older teens, and with the adults - who have their own agendas. To add to the weird and insular environment aboard ship, James hears the voices of the dead. When the adults begin to meet mysterious ends, James and his companions must face down the living and the dead to survive the voyage aboard Good Fortune.
Water Ghosts is a suspenseful multi-period thriller that will appeal to young adult and adult audiences. The paranormal elements, James’ perceptions and unique abilities, are introduced and handled gracefully throughout. James McCafferty is a sympathetic fifteen year old struggling, with the added burden of psychic abilities, to find strength of character and direction in a chaotic, mysterious, and often hurtful world; epitomized in this story by the vast Pacific ocean. Author Collison has created an excellent part contemporary / part historical thriller with wide crossover appeal.