This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 26, 2013
On rare occasions, I end up with a book in my hands that isn’t my usual fare. I’m not one that typically reads books that are strong on social commentary because I prefer my recreational reading to be escape stuff. When it came to this book, it was actually a little of both blending social commentary with a futuristic romantic thriller set in Australia.
Edgar is a librarian’s assistant which might sound like a humble career, but in the 2160s of Australia with his higher education and white collar position, he’s reached the highest tiers that a Caucasian can achieve. It’s the Chinese at the top of the economic chain with the Indians behind them. In between working at the library and working on his Master’s level thesis, snorkeling at the reef is his only form of leisure. He loves the reef and it is there that he meets Stephanie, an Asian Australian who in spite of her upbringing surrounded by wealth is not prejudice.
Edgar and Stephanie tentatively enter a taboo inter-racial relationship while at the same time they begin a project to save their reef from a wealthy businessman who wants to develop the reef into a private marina. Stephanie’s parents are not pleased about the relationship and her dad shuns them. Their reef project proves perilous to them as they go up against their wealthy opponent and things go from bad to worse costing them more than they can imagine.
The plot was engaging and fluctuated between pauses comment on how the situation in Australia got the way it did and picking up the pace to reveal a nice strong storyline that offered thriller elements with romance. The voice of the story took some getting used to, but after a bit I didn’t find it as distracting. It’s mostly told from Edgar’s point of view and switches to Stephanie’s on occasion.
The main characters were engaging and I really enjoyed getting to know them and I liked them together as a team both to protect the reef and romantically.
In the end, it was unique and different, but a good read. Those who enjoy books that challenge their thinking while offering up a decent story should give this one a try.