It's an intriguing idea: a subdivision built on the water, apartments literally floating on concrete-covered foam blocks anchored to the sea shore. Vance Nolan, the architect and designer, originally conceived Eagle's Talon as a way of providing low-cost housing to the needy, but he couldn't raise the cash. Instead, investors like Tony Dean are decorating and furnishing the apartments to the highest specifications and pricing them to get richÃ¢â¬âand using Danielle Clement, a pretty single mom, to make his sales.
But one fine day the unthinkable happens. One of the pylons gives way and several apartments fall into the Rondeau River. Things get worse when a storm comes, cutting off their only exit to the mainland_ and then cutting off their communications and electricity. Simeon, Danielle's son, is sure they will all be safe because the pretty lights under the water told him so, but the adults are fighting over whether it is safer to leave in a jury-rigged boat or stay in a damaged building (incidentally, the phrase is jerry-built or jury-rigged, not jerry-rigged. At least, what's what the dictionary says).
The novel was well-plotted with a good amount of suspense, well-developed characters, an interesting subplot with possible supernatural elements and some very well-done flashbacks, but I did find there were some unanswered questions. Even at the end I didn't really get what the people saw under the water, and there was a scene at the end that just came out of nowhere, in a Ã¢â¬ËI'm not sure I believe that' way, not a Ã¢â¬Ëwow, what a cool idea' way. Or maybe that's just me.
I don't mind being left to ponder an idea at the end of a novel (in fact, the best novels are the ones you are still thinking about days later), but I like to have all the plot questions answered, and Afloat left one too many unanswered questions for my liking.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Nestled in a sheltered cove lies a complex of unique floating apartments, providing housing for a group of eclectic residents that include single mom Danielle Clement and her son Simeon. The partially completed project is the brainchild of architect Vance Nolan, a man seeking to move beyond the tragedies of his past by bringing to life a vision of people living on the water. All is going according to plan until a sinkhole gives way. Death and destruction follow in increasing measure as torrential rains flood the cove, an unnatural darkness descends, and a man is murdered. No one knows what is real and who can be trusted.
Erin Healy has again crafted a masterpiece, a novel of suspense and supernatural wonder, where nothing is as it seems. "Afloat" reminds me a bit of "Lord of the Flies", where a people become stranded together and in that crisis moment, their true colours emerge. Like all great stories, Erin Healy's book has the hero and the villains, and yet she manages to create each character with such depth that you cannot help but feel empathy for them all in their state of lostness. I admire Vance as a person of light, a man seeking to overcome his past and faithfully follow God. But probably my favourite character is the blind-man, Zeke, a man who clearly hears from God through visions he is given and through God's voice impressed upon his heart. As such he is utterly fascinating, a character I wish I could meet in real life. Afloat can be read on many different levels, perhaps first of all as a novel that will simply entertain with its intriguing plot, scenes of suspense, and its spiritual flavour. And yet as my mind mulls over its message, I find that it is really written with depth, a reminder to us all that each of us is afloat, utterly lost, except where God intervenes and reaches out his hand and offers salvation through nail-scarred hands.
I walk away from this book with a deep appreciation for Erin Healy's skill in creating such a compelling read. 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
I think I look forward to each of Erin Healy's new releases more than any other author's. Her books are unique curiositiesÃ¢â¬âtotally unpredictable, full of supernatural elements, unclassifiable. They also contain clear, but not blatantly presented Christian Truth. Healy leads her readers along to who knows where, but once they arrive, they say, "OhÃ¢â¬âI get it! Wow!"
This was perfectly true of Healy's recent release, "Afloat." Though the story started slowly and had me a little worried, it picked up pace quickly. As the characters' dilemma worsened, Healy revealed their backstories, relevant to the plot, at a steady rate. Though I became totally engrossed in the story, I also found myself underlining well-worded statements that I found to be true.
"Afloat" is the story of a group of people stranded on a peninsula turned island after a bizarre series of unusual events. As they struggle to survive, they disagree about how to do so. What's worse, they have reason to distrust each otherÃ¢â¬âwhere loyalties lie is unclear. The result is an intense story about truth, love, self-sacrifice, and making choices that put eternity over right now. I'm happy to recommend this book!
Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of "Afloat" in exchange for this honest review. Fans of supernatural thrillers, suspense, and conspiracy novels will enjoy reading this book.