Frances was fourteen when she lost her family on the Persephone. Out of the over three hundred people on board, she was just one of four to make it off and just one of three who actually survived. But Frances's ordeal was far from over. The other two survivors, Senator Alastair Wells and his son Grayer - rescued days before Frances, claimed the ship was taken by a rogue wave. But Frances knows the truth: the Persephone was attacked.
For four years, Frances has kept the truth about Persephone to herself. The only person she's confided in is her adoptive father, Cecil O'Martin. But now Cecil is dead and it's time for Senator Wells and his son to pay for their part in ruining everything Frances lived for.
So, the cruise ship setting is a bit different from the Bermuda Triangle and the nautical horror I said I wished for, but I have to say, I'll take a cruise ship as an alternative any day!
I wasn't sure that this book was going to play out in a way that made any sense at all! Frances survives a brutal attack and is rescued by Cecil - the father of her cruise ship friend, Libby. Libby also escaped Persephone but died before they could be rescued (something that has haunted Frances in the four years since). Libby's father believes Frances when she tells him what happened and his solution is to take her under his wing - as Libby.
Yes, Frances assumes the identity of Libby O'Martin, with Libby's father's help. And for four years, while she's away at boarding school, no one questions it. But when she returns home as Libby and has to convince people who actually knew the girl that she's her, I thought for sure Ryan hadn't thought the story through!
But indeed she had. Frances's transformation into Libby is explained and is pretty believable. It was interesting to watch as she struggled internally, fighting her Frances tendencies - including her feelings for Grey. And through it all it's the thought of revenge that drives her. Her plot is intricate, one worthy of the tv show folks will no doubt compare the book to, and plays out much as you'd expect it would. But that doesn't take away from the overall entertainment one bit.
I did think the explanation behind the attack could have used more oomph and more detail (and more cruise ship!). The end also came way too soon for me. WAY too soon. Surprising, I know considering it is a longer teen read than usual, but it felt short nonetheless (better than the alternative of feeling LONG).
Did I love and adore it as much as the Forest of Hands and Teeth books, not really. But did I enjoy it overall. Definitely!