Book Review: Mystery of the Tempest by Sam Cameron

“The Tempest” is perhaps one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. I enjoy the magic and the characters, as well as the setting and the plot. When I saw this title first show up on the Bold Strokes Books website I was thrilled. And then horribly disappointed because I had to wait a few months to get my hands on it.

Well, on Friday my wait was over. And man was it worth the wait. I devoured the book that day – which I do regret a bit, because I didn’t take the time to savor it as much as I could have. The book was fantastic. The characters were well written, humorous and realistic. I felt like they were people I knew. Each one of them had some flaw that made them great characters because it made me step back and really look at what they were doing.

Denny, for example. He’s gay, very interested in men, almost desperate to lose his virginity, yet he hides who he is. Only his twin brother, Steven, knows the truth. When the opportunity presents itself, he hides in the closet he’s built around himself and lies. It breaks the readers heart as time and again he swears he’s straight. Especially when sweet Brian shows interest in him.

Oh, Brian… so wonderfully, painfully shy and quiet. He reminds me of myself in how much I’d prefer to be reading than socializing. But his interest in Denny is palpable. He hopes that he is gay but knows it can’t be true. Yet he’s so close to the truth! The UST (unresolved sexual tension) between the two boys is agonizing. So many times I wanted to jump into the book, smack them both, and tell them to get it over with.

Then there is Steven, the twin. He seems like a great brother but has many flaws. He lies about getting into the Navy SEALS program, sleeps with many girls, and has a friend who is just a little shy of not only graduating high school, but also being thrown in jail for a number of charges. I wanted to sympathize with him as much as I wanted to toss him around and knock sense into him.

But the book is so much more than the characters. It’s funny. From the first few lines I was laughing! The boys get themselves in so many situations that leads to hilarious one-liners. And the mystery! I wanted to know what was going on, and I didn’t see it coming at all! I find that very refreshing in a book. Far too often a mystery is formulaic. This one is not. It left me hanging until near the end and I prayed everything would turn out all right.

And when I turned the last page and thought the book was over? A teaser at a sequel: The Secret of Othello. Be still my beating heart! I cannot wait for this book to come out in 2012. Will all three boys be in it? Will their relationships change and progress? What is the new mystery about?

In a way the book reminded me of the Hardy Boys series because of the mystery they need to solve. It’s far from exact, but it seemed vaguely similar to me, and that was exciting. Also, because of the setting and the boys love for the ocean,┬áit reminded me of Flush by Carl Hiaasen. However, while that book deals with illegal dumping polluting the crystal waters, this one looks at fraud, extortion, a burning ship, and much, much more.

For more details on the book, check out the Bold Strokes Books site. The book can also be purchase at Amazon.

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