- File Size: 1780 KB
- Print Length: 290 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Atlas Productions (July 1, 2016)
- Publication Date: July 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01EZLQV5C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,272 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Ophelia Adrift Kindle Edition
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The cover of Ophelia Adrift caught my eye and I was dying to see what it was about. The blurb left much to the imagination, and the story much disappointment.
I almost didn't continue reading the story because it's underdeveloped. Helen Goltz had all the right ideas, but the execution does not make for an enticing read. The biggest setbacks to any story are underdeveloped characters and unrealistic dialogue. When the dialogue doesn't reflect individual personalities, or even sound like normal a normal teen, it makes a story seem like the work of an amateur. Ophelia was torn apart and distracted by the death of her parents, but despite finding a love interest and making a place for herself in her new home, she didn't develop past that. She just became obsessed with a mysterious and shady character. I have a hard time relating to a selfish character that is also written to gain sympathy, it just doesn't work unless the character is also self-aware.
The events leading up to the ending were convenient and blatantly transparent to the furthering of the plot. There was no real sense of suspense because everything about the mysterious connections between Jack and the history of shipwrecks was obvious to readers. Somehow, though, it skirted past Ophelia's notice until very near the end. The climax of the story happens so fast and it's so discombobulated you wonder whether it happened at all. No point in picking up the pace towards the end of the story after dragging out the predictable parts.
This is the first novel I have read from Helen Goltz, so I didn't know what to expect. I haven't been taken with this novel but I'm hoping, for readers who loved it, that the next in the series, Ophelia Aground, will be better. Ophelia Adrift is a great idea, but missing that 'WOW' factor.
*eGalley provided in exchange for an honest review*
When Ophelia began year eleven at her new school, she quickly made friends with twins Holly and Harry, and Peggy. She also caught the eye of Chayse Johann who was the school hunk, which of course created problems between the “harem” who hung around Chayse at school, and Adam. Ophelia was soon to discover why there was bad blood between Adam and Chayse – the early days of shipwrecks in and around the seas of Warrnambool were part of the town’s history. Ophelia’s choice for her history assignment was the shipwreck of the La Belle which occurred in 1905. Her research led her to meet with Jack Denham; she was spellbound by Jack and he by her. It was as if he had cast a spell over Ophelia…
But who was Jack Denham? Was Ophelia putting herself in grave danger?
Ophelia Adrift by Aussie author Helen Goltz is a fascinating blend of fact and fiction. The shipwreck of the La Belle occurred in 1905 which is where the author has taken her ideas from – the facts of this shipwreck on the coast near Warrnambool in Victoria are mixed with the fantasy fiction which turns Ophelia Adrift into a fabulous novel for young and old alike. I thoroughly enjoyed Ophelia Adrift and look forward to book two, "Ophelia Aground" when it’s released in the (hopefully) near future. Highly recommended.
The book description made it sound interesting, however, the actual story fell short. Ophelia recently lost her parents and is sent to live with her Uncle Sebastian and his tenant Adam. Shortly after moving there she meets Jack and falls in insta-love.
First, I am not sure how I like the story being told from different perspectives. It seemed a bit........much? Perhaps that's how I felt about it. I think more effort should have gone into the relationship development rather than the different perspectives. There really should be a good, if not great, story first then play around with it and do things like this. It doesn't work if the story isn't strong. I'm not saying that I don't like different perspectives- I most certainly do. However, if there isn't a good story it's like the different perspectives are used to try to distract you from that but really it just enhances it.
That being said, I do like the historical aspects to this story. It's quite interesting the story of the shipwreck. I liked how this was incorporated into the story. However, I do wonder if there truly were other shipwrecks int he area or not. Ophelia's project was supposed to be about a number of shipwrecks in the area yet it only focused on one- The Bella's. If there were other shipwrecks, it would have been interesting to learn more about these (I guess I could look it up on Google since Google knows all). As a matter of fact, maybe the story could have focused on Ophelia researching all these shipwrecks, talking to the survivor's families and getting to know the area, etc with the Jack thing progressing in a more normal way instead of the instantaneous way. It could have lead to a more well developed story while incorporating more of the historical aspects into it.
Then there are the characters and the relationships between them. I liked Adam. Granted, for being a little older (perhaps 2 years older) than the rest of the characters, you would think he would be a little more mature. I did not necessarily like that part of his personality. He's getting into fist fights with a high schooler. Really? At what point do you think- hmmmm.... it's time for me to grow up? But everyone has flaws right? Anyway, I do like the rest of his personality. I also like that he is getting to know Ophelia and vice versa. In a normal way, too. I think his character is kind of what saved this book from being a 1 star book.
Then there is Ophelia. I am not sure if I like her. She's supposedly just lost her parents- and quite recently too. You would think she would be acting more depressed, despondent, any adjective that fits this mentality. Yet, you in NO way get this impression. I get she is trying to move on, but there would be some feelings like this. Perhaps even stronger ones if you are trying to keep it all inside. Yet, she carries on like everything is normal except for the occasional- "I miss them" but nothing is done with this. Then, she's described as mature a few times. Really? In what sense? I never got that impression of her. She acts like a typical teenager- a VERY typical one. She is even naive- especially when it comes to Jack. In the end, I can't say I cared about what happens to her one way or the other.
Then there's Jack- a ghost. He is in love with Ophelia without ever having laid eyes on her. Really? How exactly would someone, much less a ghost, know about her when she isn't anywhere near the town?! I never got that aspect of it. Then he stalks her before they even meet "in person." In general, the whole Jack thing is weird and could have been done so much better. It doesn't bother me that he's a ghost. It bothers me that he's obsessed with Ophelia right from the get go even before she moves into the house. I think it's interesting that the author chose this seaman to focus on. I get why- he was the youngest to die in the shipwreck. That kind of makes it intriguing. However, that's not an excuse to develop his character more. Also, he needs the energy of the girls to continue "living.' Yet it's never really explained how he gets their energy. Then Ophelia draws energy form him- why? How? Again, never explained. These really should be as it seems a big part of Jack.
Onto the relationship between Jack and Ophelia. I, and perhaps thousands of other readers, are NOT fans of insta-love. There has not been a single instance of it where it is even remotely believable. It never works. This story holds to that. Ophelia and Jack meet twice- in the middle of the night on some rocks on the beach. They hardly talk. Yet after these two encounters she is thinking she loves him??!! Did I completely miss something? After these meetings, he's all she ever thinks about. What?! I understand being attracted to someone and thinking about them, but we all carry on. We meet new people. We go out with them. We completely forget about that other person. Not what happens here- Ophelia won't go out with other people or keep her options open. Why not- she's instantly in love with Jack. Whatever happened to character development that leads to good relationship building? This would have made the whole story better.
What about the house? Is it alive? What goes on there? NEVER explained or shown to us in anyway. We have no idea why it wants to protect this family. Maybe this will be explained in the other nooks (yes- unfortunately this appears to be a series). However, this doesn't work. It really should be explained in this first book.
This all being said, the other thing that saved this book from being a 1 star- it is a complete story. The major plotline/problem is resolved in this book. Thank goodness!!! It is terrible when a book abruptly ends just to have it carry on in the next one.
Overall, I was less than thrilled with this book. While the historical aspects of this book are interesting, the lack of character and relationship development really brought this book down.