Thursday 1 November 2012

Ship Of Haunts by Ellie Stevenson

Happy Candy Hangover Day!!!! (November First, Day after Halloween for those who haven't had their coffee yet)

How was your Halloween?? Have you raided your children's stash of candy yet? (of course you have) I'm willing to bet your breakfast this morning had chocolate, and candy involved. (Admit it)
In any case, it's time to toss out the jack-o-lanterns, tear down the creepy decor, and put the costumes away until next year.
The good news is that we can still read books about spirits, vampires and otherworldly creatures year round.

I'm a bit late on my next blog review, so I will cut to the chase and introduce you now... there maaaaaaaaaaaaybe some ghosts involved......

Ship Of Haunts isn't your typical spooky ghost story. I'll be frank (you be Suzy) I think this is a novel you either like it, or you don't. Wonder why?

So, go grab a mini chocolate bar, or some candy rockets and I will tell you more. (Chocolate is for you, the rockets are for me! Yum!)

I typically like to give my own rundown following the real book description. However, based on the nature of the novel and how it plays out, I will keep it to the basics and my general thoughts this time. (Just trust me)

Here is the book description from

Carrin Smith remembers a past life – on Titanic. And now she's being stalked by a ghost from the ship. Lily the ghost is searching for her cousin. She's crossed time to find Lucie, but now time is running out. Carrin's shipmates are gathered together to remember Titanic, but Carrin's not certain who can she trust. Certainly not the man who drowned her, but can she even trust herself? For Carrin has a secret, one she's been hiding all her life. But at least Lily is on her side. Or is she? From the heat of the harsh Australian sun to the darkest depths of the ocean floor, Ship of Haunts is a novel of conflicts. Carrin is scared and Lily is desperate, both of them in a race against time. When the pressure is on, can they outwit the demons that chase them, including the damaged, vengeful Mad?

My Take:

I love the general theme. Titanic, Ghosts, Reincarnation.... thumbs up!

I'm not gonna lie, I was very confused when I sat down to read Ship Of Haunts. The chapters threw me off a bit. We (the reader) are bounced from time to time, character to character. One minute you are reading Carrin's story in 2012, the next, she is a ghost in the past. Than we are reading Lily's story to do with the Titanic, than boom, thrown into another era, another character, another location (Australia, England, on the Ocean floor at the Titanic wreck...) minute she's a ghost, than she's alive in another time.... it's a merry go round to say the least. (confused yet?) 

There are plenty of characters to keep straight. I had to go back a few times to re-read and verify who did what and who was who. (In a novel like this, I wish that there had been a character list for reference) The major players are with us throughout the years, reincarnated in the same relationships and similar scenarios as their previous lives. It was an interesting take on reincarnation. The one thing that made me raise an eyebrow is how they all had the same names in each life. At first this bothered me, because if you are reincarnated, wouldn't you have a different name? I got over it fast, because let's face it, if Carrin or Lily had been called Betty, Veronica, Bella, Gertrude (whatever) in their different lives, you'd lose sense of the story trying to figure out who is who. The author did us a favor by keeping names the same.
Another thing to note is that some characters could remember all their past lives, where others didn't seem to have any recollection. (Imagine getting revenge on someone a hundred years later for something they don't remember)
 The thought crossed my mind while reading, how well it would have been done had the story taken place in a series of novels. One for the Titanic Era, the second for the 1940s, and than the truth of it in the 90's-2000's?
 As I continued to read, I realized that doing it that way would probably make it easier to get to know the characters, yet the story would have grabbed the reader as much.  Sometimes I found the novel skimmed the surface, that there could of been 'more' to the story (for example, I wanted to know more about Carrin's background before Titanic) but would that have helped or hindered? It's a tough call.

That said, once I found my rhythm, it was hard to put the novel down. When I wasn’t reading it, I was actually trying to figure out the plot and where it was all leading. (Kept my mind busy while making dinner!) The confusion actually added to the mystery and the lure of the novel. 

The writing style is simple and easy, but the story is complex and layered. It was an interesting contrast.

I found Ship Of Haunts to be an original. I have been racking my brain trying to come up with comparison and can't. It must have taken a lot of hard work and dedication to intertwine the stories and get it out of the authors imagination and onto the pages. Hat's off to Ellie Stevenson for her creativity.

I did enjoy it. Like I said, it was hard to put down. 
I recommend this book to people who love a book with a sense of history or who have a creative imagination. I do not recommend it if you are looking for a 'scary' horror novel about ghosts. This is not what it is.
I encourage those who do read it to give it time and keep pushing through if you find it hard to get into as I did. It's really quite interesting how the author plays the story out.

Interested? Here are the links to the novel on Amazon!
For Kindle
In Paperback

Happy Reading!

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