May 25, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Blue: A Novel by Lucy Clarke

If you love atmospheric novels that completely draw you in and make you feel as if you are actually there inside the story, THE BLUE is definitely a book you shouldn't miss. It's hardcover release was August of 2015 but it came out in paperback just yesterday, May 24, 2016.  I became a fan of Lucy Clarke about three years ago after reading an advance copy of her debut novel SWIMMING AT NIGHT (released in the UK under the title The Sea Sisters). All of Clarke's novels transport the reader to breathtakingly beautiful locales. In THE BLUE the story begins in The Philippines with the final destination being the coast of New Zealand.

While vacationing in the Philippines, lifelong friends Lana and Kitty befriend the laid back crew of a boat named The Blue. They spend the day on the boat enjoying the sunshine, water and laughs that seem to come so easy for this group of misfits. The girls are so taken in by this very different lifestyle of sailing from coastal city to coastal city, that when the crew asks them to join them for the remainder of the trip, they both jump at the chance. The truth is neither one of the girls is all that anxious to get back to their 'regular' life in London with all it's disappointments and troubles.

Their journey starts off smoothly and they are soon lulled into the rhythmic patterns of sea life that the constant motion of waves bring. There is a democracy aboard The Blue where all decisions are voted on, but Captain Aaron is ultimately the one in charge and his word is not tested. Relationships among crew members are not tolerated for obvious reasons so when the chemistry between Lana and Denny, another crew member, becomes too hard to fight, they keep their tryst a secret. But living in such close quarters, secrets are hard to keep and as time goes on, Lana feels as though she's not the only one hiding something.

When one of the crew is discovered missing while at sea, accusation come out and Lana can't go along with Captain Aaron's plan to keep The Blue out of trouble with the authorities. She takes a stand, tries to find out what happened but at the same time ostracizes herself from the rest of the crew, including Denny and Kitty. She ends up making a decision that could change her life forever, along with her friendship with Kitty.

My Thoughts:

Each time I read a Lucy Clarke novel I yearn for the sun, sand and water of the ocean. Her storytelling along with the vivid imagery she creates is so realistic. In THE BLUE I could almost hear the sea water lapping against the side of the boat. It's ironic that the atmosphere was so calming but the story was filled with tension throughout. There was a perfect balance to it. This is why I'm such a fan of Lucy Clarke's work. Each of the characters were flawed and multi-dimensional and so very believable. Even though the plot was not a complicated one, the characters, each with their own issues, made it into a very suspenseful story with danger never far away. This book, especially, out of all of her books, makes me appreciate her subtle yet purposeful writing style.

Audio Performance Review:

The characters of THE BLUE are an eclectic group of people from different parts of the world. There are two Americans, two Londoners, one German, one Frenchman and an Ausie. Scarlett Mack is the only narrator and she did an outstanding job! Her dialect for each of these characters was spot on. Mack has a very easy tone to her voice making it a very pleasant listen. This was the first time I've listened to a Lucy Clarke book and I chose mainly because of time constraints with some print books I was also reading at the same time but in the end, it was a great decision. This ranks up there with some of my favorite audios. I'll definitely keep an ear out for more listens by Scarlett Mack. If you're planning a long car ride this summer, THE BLUE would be a great choice to listen as you travel.

If you've never read a Lucy Clarke novel, I encourage you to do so. You will be swept away by both the story and the beautiful settings she chooses. THE BLUE would be the perfect book to kick your summer reading off right.

THE BLUE: A Novel (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Lucy Clarke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published: August 2015
Length: 10 hrs 40 mins
Printed Length: 336
Source: Purchased thru Audible
Other Books I've Reviewed By Lucy Clarke


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