Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: Pelican Bay by Jesse Giles Christiansen

Pelican Bay, by Jesse Giles Christiansen
2013, 208p, Mystery Suspense
My Rating=4 stars
Content: Mild language
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Some things are better left alone…

After Ethan Hodges discovers an undersea cemetery just off the beach of Pelican Bay, South Carolina, he seeks answers from a grandfatherly fisherman named Captain Shelby. The captain wants the past to remain buried, and he warns Ethan to stay away. But Ethan doesn't listen.

Ethan's best friend and secret love interest, Morgan Olinsworth, joins in the investigation, unearthing intriguing secrets about the mysterious fisherman. When Captain Shelby is suspected of murder and disappears, a manhunt ensues, revealing a truth that unnerves everyone in Pelican Bay.

Ethan's parents died at sea and he was raised by his paternal grandmother, Sidney Hodges. Sidney worries about Ethan since his best friend is a woman who he spends all his time with but she won't marry him and a crazy old man who talks to the pelicans. Ethan's best friend, Morgan, is a librarian and is painfully shy. Any time Ethan tries to profess his love for her or give her a compliment, she stops him and tells him she doesn't want to hear things like that. He's been friends with Captain Shelby for many years and the Captain treats Ethan like a son, but how much does Ethan really know about him?

One day, Ethan sees some gravestones in the water and wants to go diving to check them out. He enlists Morgan's help and that takes them on their quest to find out exactly who Captain Shelby is. There's lots of mystery and intrigue surrounding Captain Shelby and solving this mystery becomes the focus of their lives (and mine). 

I read the summary on this and was instantly intrigued! Honestly, I wasn't too crazy about the cover so don't let that keep you from giving this book a chance. The writing is amazing! The author has great command of the English language and it shows in his vivid descriptions and flowing style. I was glad I was reading it on my Kindle so I could look up the definitions of some of the words, like sagaciously and lugubriously. It also seemed like it would be a fast read, but I found myself taking my time to absorb what was happening.

One of my favorite quotes is when Ethan is thinking back to when he was young and learning to surf: "I soon turned my focus to riding the waves, rather than trying to stop them. Now this is a good philosophy of life, I imagine. We cannot stop the waves of misfortune, but we can learn to ride them so that misfortune somehow feels like fortune." (p. 15)

This is a book I would recommend to others, with the warning that there is some language in it. The author has another book out that also sounds interesting to me and I look forward to reading even more from him in the future (and with his goal to write at least 50 novels, there will be plenty of opportunities)!

About the Author:

Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author who writes compelling literary fiction that weaves the real with the surreal. He attended Florida State University where he received his B.A. in English literature. He wrote his first novel, "About: Journey Into The Mystic" after spending a summer in Alaska working on fishing boats. His newest novel, "Pelican Bay," focuses on a very old fisherman, Captain Shelby, and the mysterious happenings linked to him surrounding a nosy, sea-battered beach town (release date: July 20th, 2013, Imajin Books). One of his literary goals is to write at least fifty novels, and he reminds himself always of something that Ray Bradbury once said: "You fail only if you stop writing."


Katie Watkins said...

This sounds really good. As for the language--is it a really bad word? I can handle the others if it's not a ton, but not that one. :)

Melanie Valderrama said...

No f-bombs. If there were, I would specify that. I changed the content to mild language since it's not bad (at least to me).

Jesse Giles Christiansen said...

Thanks Melanie for this intelligent, thorough, and appreciative review. I highly value your readership and your contribution to the literary community.

Also, thanks for mentioning that there are no "f-bombs" in this novel. Also, I'll add that the bad language is minor and quite infrequent. The only notable section is where there is a "love battle" between Ethan and Henry over Morgan. Ethan gets a bit heated.

Thanks for willing to read! : )

Melanie Valderrama said...

You're welcome, Jesse! I'm looking forward to reading more in the future!

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