Wonderful piece of Titanic fiction! Feb 13, 2013
It's hard to find an accurate and well-written fictional book about the Titanic. "Dangerous Waters", however, meets my expectations! It was engaging, satisfying, and even after I finished, still exhilarating. The thing that reeled me in was the main subject of the plot: books! My favorite pastime is reading, so if there is a Titanic story out there that really focuses on the wonder of books (and the terrible loss of books that went down with the Titanic), then it's probably an automatic favorite of mine.
The story mostly centers around Patrick, a young Irish boy who is quite in awe of the Titanic. I felt, as the story began, an authentic sensation of anticipation of the Titanic. It is the way in which the local people speak about the big vessel that drills excitement in... the world's biggest ship ever is about to set sail this week. Other authors have tried to create this same feeling, but this is the first time I've fully appreciated the efforts made to show the sensation of what the people of Belfast were thinking.
In the plot of "Dangerous Waters", the story sometimes switches from Patrick to one of the other characters, like Berryman, who is trying to steal and acquire a certain rare copy of Sir Francis Bacon's book that is supposed to carry a secret, hidden in code. I rather enjoyed getting the entire story by "watching" the different characters, instead of it always focusing on just one main character. Harry Widener is another of the characters in this book---he was a real passenger on the Titanic, and I think his presence in the book authenticated the entire story. What strikes me as odd, is the fact that usually I do not like famous people from the Titanic taking a key role in a fictional story---I don't generally approve of this because it never feels genuine---but it worked! I actually loved how Harry Widener fit right in.
There are subjects like drinking included in the story---but this tends to go with the subject matter of Titanic and that time era. Patrick himself had a job in a pub. There is also much talk about spit, tobacco, spittoons, etc., which did get a bit graphic at times, but slightly hilarious.
If there's one thing I don't understand about the entire book, it is this minor detail: Why did Emily, a girl from the story, get featured on the front cover? Perhaps it was a marketing idea from the publisher, to make the book appealing to both boys and girls, but the main character is Patrick, whereas Emily has a very minor part.
I really applaud Gregory Mone's writing ability! Great book!