Sunday, April 15, 2012

Distant Waves

Author: Suzanne Wyen
Goodreads Rating: 3.74
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 319
Reviewed By: Nicole

I've already expressed my love of the Titanic on Tuesday with my post about the Lost Voices From the Titanic. Today's post is in memoriam of the sinking of the ship, and when it hit the iceberg. This is a Scholastic book so it is geared more for middle school readers or even a little younger. I will admit that I was mislead in this book, but like all Scholastic books, it managed to maintain the educational aspect.

Goodreads Synopses:

Science, spiritualism, history, and romance intertwine in Suzanne Weyn's newest novel. Four sisters and their mother make their way from a spiritualist town in New York to London, becoming acquainted with journalist W. T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist John Jacob Astor. When they all find themselves on the Titanic, one of Tesla's inventions dooms them...and one could save them.

My review after the jump.
I was a little frustrated by this book because all it seemed to do was name drop. Every turn of the page these girls were running into the Guggenheims, Molly Brown, Nikola Tesla and John Jacob Astor. I understand that Scholastic likes to educate the younger readers, but really, Houdini? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? It was a bit too much. That and the Titanic doesn't even come into play until the last third of the book which I suppose is reasonable since how much time can you really devote to only four days aboard a ship?

This book is meant to keep the idea of magic and mysterious things happening alive for younger readers, and I can appreciate that. Under the heavy influence of spiritualism, Mimi, Jane, Emma, Amelie, and Blythe all grow up believing in spirits. The early part of the book explains their lives in a place called Spirit Vale where mediums and spiritualists live. We also learn that their mother is part fraud, but partly has the gift. 

As also stated, we meet all of these famous names with whom the girls become friends with. This is a work of Historical Fiction, so not all facts will be right, such as Nikola Tesla being on the boat-that is a work of fiction. Jane was a likable enough character, which was good because she wasn't extraordinary, but she wasn't a total plain Jane if you will. Her sisters were also nothing special. 

This book was a decent mediocre book, and I do think that I will read more from Weyn. I wish that there had been more about the Titanic, but what she had was suficient. I also did approve of the level of romance in it since it is a book for younger young adults.

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