Rated Reads

Beside a Burning Sea

by John Shors

Rated: Moderate

During World War II, a hospital ship in the Pacific sinks, along with almost all of its crew and patients. With some incredible luck, a few survivors manage to make it to a deserted island nearby. While the island appears to have all they need to make it, the makeup of this group of survivors makes for some complicated times. Not only is there someone among them who is not what he seems, there is also a Japanese soldier whose heart has been broken by war but gaining the trust of his fellow survivors will mean people on both sides of the battle lines taking chances.

On a grand scale, I liked it. I liked the time period, in general. Since we were on an island in the middle of nowhere, the only details really pertaining to the period were stereotypical feelings about the Japanese as a people and about the pain of the war in progress. I think that for a deserted-island story, the action moved along fairly quickly, and while the love story that developed felt a bit deep for how rushed it was, it certainly made things more interesting. The bad guy was BAD. Like, disturbing and almost too bad to believe. I didn’t like him.

If you are looking for some serious World War II historical fiction, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one because it feels way more character and setting-driven than anything else. There are certainly some war-related scenes and some bloody war violence, though, and it flowed with the story just as it should. The ending is both surprising and yet totally predictable and rushed, which was a little frustrating, but even so, I don’t feel that I wasted my time reading it.

Rated: Moderate. 19-ish uses of moderate language, 10-ish uses of mild language, a few scenes of graphic violence as well as some disturbing discussions of graphic violence (one of the characters just has a really dirty mouth both sexually and violence-wise), and a few sexual scenes with descriptions but not super-steamy.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

Comments are closed.

  • Beside a Burning Sea
  • by John Shors
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: