Friday, 2 November 2012

Chain Reaction by Nicole Stuart

Book Title:  Chain Reaction


ISBN  9781465976987

Part of Series:  Second of two-book Series – See Extinction Event

Author:  Nicole Stuart

Available at: Smashwords Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple, Diesel, Baker-Taylor

Price:  $4.99

Number of words (approximately):  63 123

Star Rating (of five):  Four

Summary:  Ron, a New York businessman meets Jane, a Law Doctorate student in the Bahamas.  Her room, won as a prize, is not available, so Ron offers her a berth on his boat.  They fall in love, but, at the end of their vacation, they discover that the gigantic volcano under Yellowstone is about to explode.  Convinced of the danger, they set out on Ron’s new yacht to escape.  The story tells of their trials and experiences as they sail around the world, seeking the survival group that Helen and John have established.


- Jane moved back to the wheel, looked at the sea behind them, brightly lit by the full moon.  What she saw frightened her beyond any experience she had ever had!  There was a wall of water, reaching up hundreds of feet, blanking out the stars near the horizon behind them!  Its face, black and featureless, was in the shadow of the moonlight, screened from the light by its almost vertical height.

“It’s coming, Ron!  Hold on!”  He turned to look over the stern.  A massive wave, much higher than any he had ever seen, was coming up fast behind them, interacting with the standing wave train to build huge mountains of water in places.  Jane quickly estimated the location of the heap of water likely to be nearest to them, then hit the off switch on the autopilot and took the helm, steering them slightly to the left of where she expected the peak to be.  If one of those peaks were to collapse on them, there would be very little chance to survive!  They would be toppled over, or hammered below the surface by the thousands of tons of water cascading down the face of the giant mound of water!  Ron moved up quickly behind her, and fastened her safety harness to the ring in the deck, provided to secure the helmsman in rough weather, then fastened his own to it.

“Remember, Jane, if we turn over, you must pull this toggle to release the safety harness!”  He took her hand and guided it to the toggle, making sure that she would be able to find it in an emergency.  Jane nodded, then returned her hand to the wheel, not moving her eyes from the wave racing up behind them.  As Ron raised his head to look back at it, the sea seemed to drop suddenly, plunging them into a deep trough, then the huge wave came up behind them, eerily quiet, heaping up and up, impossibly high and threatening.  The yacht stern lifted up, and the vessel accelerated as it started surfing down the slope.  The yacht tipped ever more steeply downwards, the speed moving up to twenty-five, then thirty knots, the hulls skidding down the slope and throwing spray out the sides.  The hulls vibrated with the speed of their motion through the water.  The deck of the yacht was already pitched forward over sixty degrees to the horizontal.  The speed indicator was off the dial!  The sensation was like running down a mountain slope.  They accelerated fast, losing the ability to slow down or stop!  Jane turned the wheel a little, to take the boat diagonally along the slope, rather than directly down it.  This tactic caused the pitch of the vessel to shift diagonally, and Jane watched the port nose for signs that it was about to dig into the water, as it surely would when it reached the bottom of the wave trough.  That would cause the yacht to trip over its nose and cartwheel! 

Ron was watching the slope of the wave behind them.  The speed of the yacht was still climbing, now well over the maximum on the dial of forty yachts!  He asked himself how much more the yacht could handle!

“We’re just about over the wave, Jane!  Keep on as you are!” 

The yacht’s angle decreased slightly as the crest of the wave approached, then the stern dropped, the yacht coming back to the horizontal.  The speed dropped abruptly, and there was a sensation that they had regained control.  That lasted for a half-dozen seconds, then the boat started moving down the back of the huge swell as it passed.  The yacht pitched nose up to about fifty degrees.  The movement was not as dramatic as before, as the wind pressed against the sails, holding the yacht against the back of the wave and adding its speed to the rapidly reducing forward motion of the boat.

“You did just great, Jane!  You’re fantastic!  Your steering was exactly what we needed!”

Jane did not have the time to acknowledge Ron’s praise, but she felt a glow of satisfaction that she had passed her first real test.  She straightened the course of the yacht as it wallowed in the bottom of the crest.

“The next wave is coming!  It’s not as high as the last one!” -

Reviewer’s Comments: 

Structure:  The book is well formatted, has good use of language, grammar and syntax.  It reads easily, with the structure not intruding into the experience.

Content:  The book flows through a three-year voyage, with an exploration of one probable outcome of a danger that presently and really exists.  If you have ever asked yourself “What would I do if the Yellowstone volcano became reality?”, this book is a must-read.  The events described are realistic, based on fact and real-life experience.

Reviewer’s Comments:  I loved this set of books.  The characters are real, the events, frightening as they may be, are not contrived.  It is quite possible to put yourself in the place of the characters, to experience the end of the world as we know it.  This book tells of events and situations that are entirely possible, and that will bring forth the exceptional in every person.  These two books are permanently on my bookshelf!

Karin B

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