Nola Mitchell was going to make history with her flight in the fashion of Amelia Earhart but ends up crashing into history herself.

Caroline Carter’s debut novel is thrilling and has some unexpected twists which are all tied up very well. The prologue, very well written, hooks and clamps even though the whole situation does not make sense. This is resolved very soon as we get to know very soon what the whole scheme of things are. My complaint is that Carter could have used this whole premise and kept me waiting till nearly half the book about what how the island worked. I am surprised that it is hinted and given away in the synopsis itself. It sounded cliched and wrung out although when you read the book, it is surprisingly fresh!

An excerpt from the Prologue:

MAKU OPENED HIS EYES. HE was still afloat on the bamboo ladder. He was still alive. He had been at sea for more days than he could count. How long ago, Maku wondered, had it been since the little wave had taken his ladder down? His belly no longer felt hunger, but his tongue had swollen from want of drink. Soon, he knew, water fever would force him to drink from the sea. This punishment was the wrath of the gods. He never should have listened to Manuarii. Our people were great pirates once. We can be that again. Maku remembered paddling his canoe across the dark sea. As Manuarii had promised, the big ship came slowly, loaded with riches. Like the men in the other canoes, Maku raised his ladder against the side. Once aboard, he would take anything he could carry. Great pirates. Many days would pass before they were great pirates again, but Maku needed to feed his children. Anything from the big ship sailing from China to America was good to sell. But the gods had frowned on his greed and sent the wave to take his ladder down. He had floated away in the darkness, and Manuarii’s canoe did not come to rescue him. Maku wondered when he would die.

Carter has an easy style and a very strong voice that carries this book the distance. I feel like an echo now because most of my reviews lately all whine about the character not being deep enough or being too one-dimensional. Well, Carter has tried, succeeded some, failed some. The story, mildly predictable, moves along so fast with its action that it is only at the end of the book, that one takes a breather to think what could have been.  I was completely prepared to whine in my critical review for Story Cartel (what I write is my own opinion) but instead the 225 pages on my kindle simply flew by. I have some reservations on the ending, would love to know what other people think, but I don’t intend to put any spoilers here.

My Verdict: This is one the best debut novels I have read this year!

To get the book, the Amazon link is: Amazon- Under the Legend

Advertisements