Zan is still trying to live down her recent shoplifting charges. It's an embarrassment both to her politically motivated father and to the teen as well. But her father's aspirations have been hurt by more than Zan's misadventures - he was caught kissing one of his contributors and has since left Zan and her mother. So it's not too surprising when Zan's mother announces a need for a change of scenery. So the two head off to Turkey where they'll accompany Zan's recently widowed aunt on a Blue Voyage cruise of archaeological sites that her late husband was to be leading. Since the family didn't make it out for Berk's funeral, it seems it's time to offer a bit of support especially when Aunt Jackie becomes convinced her husband's accident was murder.
Their trip begins well enough, but the area is being heavily patrolled by police out to bust a group of smugglers. And Zan soon finds herself caught in the crosshairs!
I don't know how I've not read Diana Renn before now! In Blue Voyage she's taken a feisty heroine with a penchant for rock climbing, thrown her into an exotic (and TEMPTING!) setting, wrapped it all in a mystery/thriller package, and added more than a dash of Indiana Jones worthy antiquities/archaeology based adventure to boot!
I'll admit that while I'm fascinated by Turkey (and the FOOD!), I know very little about the country and its history. Renn has definitely inspired me to change that. There's a good bit of both history and lore here in Blue Voyage, including the tantalizing tale of a lost treasure and a cursed tomb. But this history provides just one piece of the backdrop for the story. A teen in trouble - but for her father's influence, she would have been spending at least part of her summer in juvie or doing community service -, family drama, and the very real dangers of the current political scene in Turkey are all a part of this tale.
Zan gets just a taste of the potential danger on the docks when they arrive to meet the Gulet Yasemin, but doesn't fully understand the dangers until it's too late. The tension ratchets up exponentially as the story progresses, which makes for quite fun reading.
Blue Voyage is pretty much everything you could ask for in a book - whether you're a teen or an adult. Renn's writing is wonderful - she's got fantastic character development and an excellent and truly gripping plot. Add to that the fact that Blue Voyage is obviously well researched (Renn even talks about the importance of accuracy in her Author's Note) and you've got a serious win in my book!
Renn, new-to-me at the time I read Blue Voyage, is definitely an author I plan to read more of in the future. Her two previous novels, Tokyo Heist and Latitude Zero, feature some of the same themes as Blue Voyage not the least of which are exotic locales, and I suspect that they are equally as fabulous as Blue Voyage. (You can find out more about Renn and her work on her website at DianaRennBooks.com.)
And now, thanks to Renn's publicist, I'm able to offer up a copy of Blue Voyage to one of you lucky readers! To throw your name in the hat, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, October 26. (Open US only and no PO boxes please.) Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway