The Sea Witch – A Preliminary Book Review

Last Friday, I had a free hour and decided to spend it in the Batesville Mississippi Public Library working on a personal project. As I walked to the door of the library, I told myself that I didn’t have time to look at a single book. However, a book caught my eye before I could make it to a table. Without further thought or internal dialog, I picked it up. The cover drawing was of a World War II flying boat, specifically a Catalina PBY. When I was a kid, I dreamed of flying one. The book was The
Sea Witch
by Stephen Coonts, released in May 2012. It is a novella and two short stories. I started reading the title novella, The Sea Witch, and I was lost in the story in seconds. A few minutes later, I forced myself to put it back on the shelf and get to the work I was in the library to do.

Later that afternoon, I downloaded a sample of The Sea Witch, from Amazon.com. Fifteen minutes after that, I bought the book. Be advised, if you follow the book link to Amazon.com, you’ll note that The
Sea Witch, (as of 7/22/12) has 30 reviews, with an average rating of two stars. Specifically the break down is 2–five star reviews, 1–four star review, 1–three star review, 7–two star reviews, and 17–one star reviews. Now that you have that information, let me give you a heads up – The Sea Witch will have one more review as soon as I finish the two short stories that follow the title novella, and it will be a five star review, only because there is nothing higher.

Like Stephen Coonts, I’m a Vietnam Vet, and I write. However, I knew and loved good writing way before I wrote my first word or went to Vietnam. It’s been my experience that great writing doesn’t happen often, at least not nearly often enough. The
Sea Witch is great writing at its greatest. Coonts uses devices that are unique, and they work.

One more warning, don’t begin The Sea Witch with the idea that you’ll put it down in a few minutes. I’ll bet you can’t.

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