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Storm Warning Mass Market Paperback – 16 Nov 2001
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Top customer reviews
The book is at its best when cranking up the tension. You know with a title like ‘Storm Warning’ that things are not going to be sure-sailing throughout and Higgins does a good job of developing some of the characters and makes you wonder what their fate will be. Alongside the story of the ship from Brazil are a couple of others thrown in; including a German U-Boat Captain and a US ship Captain. The stories remain quite separate until towards the end when they begin to converge.
On their own each story is fun, but it is the adventure of the sailing ship that is the best; sailors and nuns on a boat together! When you are distracted from this the book flounders a little. However, it is the final action packed section that lets the book down a little. Higgins is a very boy’s own adventure type of writer, but he keeps that in check during this book, until the end. The final act is all self-sacrificing and noble pursuits that just come across as foolhardy. This is still an enjoyable read, but solid and not much else. It is vintage Higgins, but not classic. Just thank goodness that Sean Dillon is nowhere to be seen.
I like how Jack Higgins approaches the naval nature of the book, he doesn't treat the reader like an idiot and explain everything but neither does he get so technical that you have no idea what is going on and lose interest. He strikes a neat balance that is interesting but not overwhelming.
His characters are well-formed and vibrant. From the stereo-typical cocky, German U-Boat ace through to the pious, well-meaning nuns on board one of the ships.
I loved the variety of vessels depicted in the book through the various characters from the beautiful but ageing barquentine Deutschland to German U-boats and old Scottish lifeboats. They didn't feel like boats so much as they felt like characters in the story. Likewise the sea and the weather. This was one of the things that pulled me so firmly into the story - I didn't just care about the people, I cared about their boats and I shared their awe, respect, love and fear of the sea and the wind.
Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the Captain's log of the Deutschland, these provided you with a date and time for the beginning of the chapter and helped you keep up with the passage of time as well as gave you a feel for conditions on the journey.
There were a couple of times near the start where I found myself losing interest because of all the jumping around but once all the different characters were established that quickly ceased to be an issue.
I had a bit of trouble discerning between two of the female characters at times, mostly because they were called Jane and Janet and often in the same scenes. They could have done with names that were less similar and bolder character differences when they were together.
A good plot, twist and romance that makes this book an almost impossible one to put down!
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