Our harrowing tale commences off the Atlantic coast in 1908. The Black Lady a vessel slicing through the unforgiving seas swiftly encounters a hellacious storm. The captain, Gavin Hamlin and (no not Gavin McLeod of Love Boat fame, although at times I fought not to envision him this way) crew struggle against the merciless peril but ultimately find an untimely demise. The ship crashes into a blind boulder and plummets to the ocean floor.
Transcending to Coronado Bay, present tense we’re introduced to Maya Blair and her family. The teen is an exceptional individual not only unto her parents, but her peers and teachers as well. Working as a waitress in her parents’ humble diner she has little time to socialize or engage in any stereotypical rebellion that is typically associated with adolescent behavior. We quickly learn Maya is indeed no ordinary girl. She posses the ability to communicate with the dead, see spirits, ghosts and other unearthly creatures.
Although Maya is only aware of her rapport with her deceased grandmother, it doesn’t take long for her abilities to unravel before her very eyes.
The local museum raises the wreckage of the Black lady and creates a new exhibit in hopes of raising tourism to the humble town. Soon a class field trip is planned from the local high school. We’re introduced to some of Maya’s peers such as Lucy, her best friend as well as her ex-boyfriend Stuart.
While along the field trip Maya’s attention is captivated by a breath taking presence. Enter Blake Hennessy, an apparition from the original wreckage. At the time of the craft’s untimely accident, he was a stowaway aboard hiding in fear and searching for a better life. Instantly the two have a strong chemistry and begin to interact much like regular youths that have felt attraction for the first time.
Strange and bizarre things begin to transpire at the museum. The remainder of the Hamlin’s crew is unearthed and imprisoned in infinite purgatory. In desperation and a century of frustration they embark upon an odyssey to find the missing key to unlocking the most unholy treasure imaginable. Gavin has a link to opening a port hole to hell itself and unleashing vengeful fire and brimstone unto the world that so persecuted him.
Before Hamlin and crew can solidify and open the chest, they must first acquire the assistance of a mortal.
A climactic show down of epic proportion ensues pitting the forces of good versus evil in paranormal combat in a thrill ride of a conclusion you won’t want to miss.
Faherty knows the commercial market and knows it well. With a brilliant combination of teen romance, paranormal abilities and activities, rustic pirate characters and comedy thrown into the mix it isn’t difficult to see how this tale appeals to the masses. The characters are hip, trendy and realistic. Their dialogue is honest and true natural interaction. With so many themes sub-texts and undertones it’s amazing the tale moves along at an ideal pace without too much exposition or clutter.
In a society that is fixated and dependent upon status updates, tweeting and texting sadly the attention span is diminished comparable to the black plague. A tale such as Ghosts of Coronado Bay would be ideal for revitalizing adolescents into fictional reading and expanding their imaginative minds. I look forward to further works by this author as hinted upon subtly in the title.
Faherty’s novel would make an ideal blue print for film adaptation. Then again Hollywood would likely screw that up too.
Book Review: Ghosts of Coronado Bay – Author JG Faherty