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Thursday, July 31, 2014


Written by: Saundra Mitchell

What else but lobster could you possibly eat while reading this fishy tale?

Willa Dixon is a relatively normal girl. Yes, she is destined to become a Lobster fisher, and yes, she has to work extra hard to balance the dwindling finances for her family, but besides that, she has a boyfriend, a job, and a regular best friend. Her life is tough, but not too unusual. That is, until one night her brother is murdered while Willa watches. The next year is a whirlwind of court cases, accusations, and sacrifices, as Willa is an integral part in putting the killer behind bars. She has to decide between her beloved fishing and her brother's memory, while trying to communicate with her angry father. She has pretty much got her hands full. And then, for some reason she keeps thinking about the abandoned light house near her town, despite the fact that nobody else spares the building a second thought, aside from passing around stories about the Grey Man, the resident spirit in the lighthouse. So when one day a mysterious boat bumps up against the shore right where Willa is sitting, she decides to get in. It takes her right to the lighthouse, where she discovers that the Grey Man might actually be real.

Phew! Okay, so as you can see, there's a lot going on. I liked this book, aside from one thing (which I will get to in a minute). Willa's non-supernatural life was fun to read about. The setting was interesting and unique, and I think Mitchell captured the ambiance of a slightly run-down fishing town very well. I definitely could see how Willa loved her little town and all the people in it. Thankfully, she was not an overly dramatic heroine, as so many are, and Willa was very much like a real girl, which was refreshing. 

The book is written half from Willa's perspective, and half from the Grey Man's, and I thought there voices were each unique and interesting. The Grey Man was slightly more poetic, and balanced well in his narrative was a mixture of desperation and fear for his future. Both voices were compelling. 

There was unfortunately a rather large flaw in the book. Everything up to the climax was engaging and entertaining, and then it just flopped. The final scenes were pretty much out of the blue and not believable enough. Suffice to say, the climax was not lead up to very well. This would not have been such a big problem if the climax itself had been good. But, it wasn't. Like all protagonists, Willa needed to save herself in the end. This was managed only through a ridiculous amount of luck and happenstance. The reader is given zero hints about a loophole in Willa's fate (this sounds a little confusing but there is no other way to describe it without giving away the book) and so I was completely surprised (and not in a good way) about the ending. It was as if the book wasn't fully planned out, so when the ending needed to be written, some unrelated idea was pulled out of a hat and stuck in the last chapter. 

All in all, this book was not bad, and until the ending it was fairly good. But, like all books, the ending is what the reader remembers most, and in this case I wasn't blown away. 

2.5/5 stars

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