White Water, Black Death – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Shaun Ebelthite

In the rivieting tale of White Water, Black Death, by author Shaun Ebelthite, Geneva Jones is an editor for CruiseCritique and has been invited on board by CEO of the cruiseline, Rachel Atkinson. The purpose is to write a powerful story about the cruise ship and get positive press because the company is in trouble. Yet, the cruise turns out to be more interesting than Geneva could’ve ever imagined. With a wide variety of substories running through there are a long list of character’s to pay attention to. Who survives, who doesn’t, who’s a “good guy” and who is at fault remains a mystery until the very end.

There is great potential in White Water, Black Death, but there are some issues readers will need to get past to enjoy the fascinating intrigue underneath. Ebelthite has a unique style of writing that leaves a lot for the reader to imagine, but those plot holes can lead to great confusion, too. With such an exceptionally long list of characters it’s not easy to keep track nor does it give the author a real chance to help readers emotionally bond with the characters. Their substories could’ve been fleshed out and added a lot to the story, but only a couple of them versus so many.

Though there are suspects and possibilities of what’s really going on as dozens of people end up becoming sick or dying on board the cruise ship, Ebelthite does a great job of keeping a number of surprises until the very end. With such a unique storyline, White Water, Black Death could be a tale that keeps readers turning pages and gripping the handrails themselves. It just needs some polishing and a bit more thorough editing to fill the plot holes, correct minor mistakes. Overall, Shaun Ebelthite’s White Water, Black Death is a tale that will make potential cruise passengers think twice before climbing aboard and setting sail, but they’ll be able to sit on dry land and experience the rough seas and surprising twists from start to finish.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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