I love the sea, and I love spending time at the seaside. That said, I’ve never been on a cruise, or spent significant time on the waters, and I’m not sure how I would cope with it to be honest. The dangers and the vast nothingness out there is somewhat frightening and I don’t think I could put up with spending days on end on a boat or ship without going a bit nuts.
The 25th reading prompt for the Popsugar Reading Challenge calls for a book set at sea however, so let’s see what’s out there.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot #17) by Agatha Christie
The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head.
She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems…
The Gracekeepers (Gracekeepers) by Kirsty Logan
As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives – offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.
The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.
As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.
But the end to it all looms closer every day.
Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.
For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.
Or she could disappear.
Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
Chasing the Light by Jesse Blackadder
It’s the early 1930s. Antarctic open sea whaling is booking and a territorial race for the mysterious continent is in full swing.
Aboard a ship setting sail from Cape Town carrying the Norwegian whaling magnate Lars Christensen are three women: Lillemor Rachlew, who tricked her way on to the ship and will stop at nothing to be the first woman to land on Antarctica; Mathilde Wegger, a grieving widow who’s been forced to join the trip by her calculating parents-in-law; and Lars’s wife, Ingrid Christensen, who has longed to travel to Antarctica since she was a girl and has made a daunting bargain with Lars to convince him to take her.
As they head south through icy waters, the race is on for the first woman to land on Antarctica. None of them expect the outcome and none of them know how they will be changed by their arrival.
Based on the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, Jesse Blackadder has captured the drama, danger and magnetic pull of exploring uncharted places in our world and our minds.
Sci-fi, Horror, Thriller
Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1) by Mira Grant
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.
Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.
Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser
When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this faraway planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t there to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s there to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth—and getting paid handsomely in exchange. Only it isn’t a life of luxury that Ishmael dreams of; it’s a way to get his foster parents safely off the crumbling Earth before it’s too late.
But though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue an elusive monster—a beast so enormous and deadly that few who’ve seen it have lived to tell the tale. One who has is the ship’s captain, Ahab. It’s rumored that he lost his leg to the beast years ago and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But is there more to Captain Ahab’s obsession with the beast than a desire for vengeance?
The Swarm by Frank Schätzing
Whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island’s water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the effects of the ocean’s revenge as the seas and their inhabi-tants begin a violent revolution against mankind. In this riveting novel, full of twists, turns, and cliffhangers, a team of scientists discovers a strange, intelligent life force called the Yrr that takes form in marine animals, using them to wreak havoc on humanity for our ecological abuses. Soon a struggle between good and evil is in full swing, with both human and suboceanic forces battling for control of the waters. At stake is the survival of the Earth’s fragile ecology — and ultimately, the survival of the human race itself.
Sweet (Sweet #1) by Emmy Laybourne
PEOPLE WOULD KILL TO BE THIN.
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled Cruise to Lose is billed as “the best cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised – dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days – it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too sick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
BUT WILL THEY DIE FOR IT, TOO?
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his childhood “Baby-Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a “romance” with a sexy reality-TV star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.
Deep Storm (Jeremy Logan #1) by Lincoln Child
Former naval doctor Peter Crane is urgently summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to help diagnose a bizarre medical condition spreading through the rig. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies far below—on “Deep Storm,” a stunningly advanced science research facility built two miles beneath the surface on the ocean floor. The top secret structure has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a recently discovered undersea site that may hold the answers to a mystery steeped in centuries of myth and speculation.
Sworn to secrecy, Dr. Crane descends to Deep Storm. A year earlier, he is told, routine drilling uncovered the remains of mankind’s most sophisticated ancient civilization: the legendary Atlantis. But now that the site is being excavated, a series of disturbing illnesses has begun to affect the operation. Scientists and technicians are experiencing a bizarre array of symptoms—from simple fatigue to violent psychotic episodes. As Crane is indoctrinated into the strange world of Deep Storm and commences his investigation, he begins to suspect that the covert facility conceals something more complicated than a medical mystery.The discovery of Atlantis might, in fact, be a cover for something far more sinister . . . and deadly.
I hope you found something to your liking, but maybe don’t read them on your beach holiday. Just sayin’…
Have you read a book set at sea that you would recommend?