Book Review: Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl by Tracy Forbes

Title: Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl
Author: Tracy Fobes
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Set on stormy seas during the early nineteenth century, Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl features a unique plot revolving around a classic adventure that quickly becomes supernatural horror.

In Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, Kit Cabot is being groomed to take over his family’s shipping fortune in 1808 Boston, Massachusetts.  While Kit yearns for the approval of his father, he finds the day-to-day operations of the family business incredibly boring.

Determined to do something more with his life, and attracted to the seafaring life of his uncle, Kit decides to stowaway on his uncle’s ship.  But instead of being swept up in the life of adventure and romance he always imagined, Kit finds himself subjected to harsh 1800’s maritime conditions and another stowaway with a sinister mission of its own.

Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl combines high sea adventure with dark horror, and paints a world filled with both mundane and otherworldly dangers.  It builds a claustrophobic sense of supernatural terror as Kit and his friends are forced to deal with the dangers of nature and an unknown horror possessing the ship.

In Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, Kit Cabot is a young boy in the early nineteenth century. An injury he suffered as a child left him with a leg that hurts day in day out. Despite that, he finds family business tedious and boring, and he wants nothing more than to join his uncle John on his ship. Life on board of the ship turns out to be unlike anything Kit expected though: his uncle guards a mysterious red pearl, and is jealous whenever someone even comes near it. The pearl  has an eerie attraction to everyone who comes too close. Kit, along with several members of the crew, tries to help uncle John get rid of it. However, the entity living inside the pearl has other plans and will stop at nothing to get what it wants, and soon, everyone on board the ship, including Kit, is in mortal peril.

Kit is an enjoyable character, and despite having a personality suitable for nineteenth century life, he is easy to sympathize with. Sometimes when reading historical fiction, history and time seems to add so many layers between the reader and the characters that they’re impossible to relate to, but Stowaway: Curse of the Red Pearl, doesn’t suffer from that. If anything, the setting is a blessing. Demonic possession is used in literature every now and then, but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on board of a ship in the 1800s.

Mix in an unique setting with good writing, and you get a 110-page long (in my pdf version at least) story that will scare you and entertain you at the same time.

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