The Isle of Gold

Seven Jane. Black Spot, $14.99 trade paper (284p) ISBN 978-0-9997423-8-9
In this meandering debut, Jane weaves a tale of myth and magic but fails to deliver on the promise of epic adventure. In 1716, Merrin Smith is about to embark on a journey from her Caribbean home. An orphan, Merrin seeks to join the pirate crew of the Riptide, a ship captained by Erik Winters. Their quarry is Evangeline Dahl, Winters’s lover, who has been taken by the goddess of the sea, a vindictive woman with access to the creatures and monsters of the ocean. Dressed as a young man, Merrin joins the crew and embarks on what should be a great adventure to save Evangeline at the mystical heart of the sea, where the goddess resides, and discover her own history. Unfortunately, much of the novel is spent waiting for something to happen, telling the reader about great myths, and about the crew on board the ship, rather than showing Merrin building relationships and battling to make the great discovery of her true origins. When Merrin does finally learn about the secrets kept from her, she does so without a fight, and, indeed, she has no agency aside from choosing to join the crew. Even the ultimate battle happens off the page. This tempting novel will entrance but ultimately fail to satisfy. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2018
Release date: 10/09/2018
Genre: Fiction
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