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This Fabled Shipwreck

James McPike Author Interview

James McPike Author Interview

Shipwreck Island is a fascinating treasure hunting mystery that takes readers on a deep water search for a lost ship. What were some driving ideals behind this novel?

I’ve been wanting to write this book for about eight to ten years. When I was younger I traveled to New Zealand and heard about this fabled shipwreck. I was always intrigued about the circumstances around its mysterious disappearance and why after a 150 years no one could find a trace of it. The story always stayed with me and I knew I just had to write about it.

Roy is a salvage and shipwreck expert and helps setup some interesting information throughout the book. What kind of research did you undertake on shipwreck salvage to get things right in this book?

I really didn’t research much for this part on top of what I already knew. I’d read numerous newspaper articles and studied about the latest sonar technology, but that was about the extent of it. As always, I tried to create a relatable hero that all readers could root for and enjoy following.

The book includes a map that showed areas of different shipwrecks, which I found helpful. How much did you rely on history to tell this story, and where did you take liberties to make an interesting story?

Well the map is indeed accurate and shows real shipwrecks. Although the book is fiction, I tried to base everything on real historical facts about the island itself and the prior shipwrecks. The only thing I took liberty on was the location of the treasure, the action scenes, and the characters backgrounds.

How far have you gotten on your latest book, Treasure Fever, and how is it developing so far?

With every book I write, I always try to outdo my last and set the bar high. This one is no different. I did a lot of research prior to starting it and so far I think it’s turning out to be the best one yet! I’m only on page 40 but the plot is coming along faster than expected and even surprising me at times. This one will have plenty of action so it won’t be for the feint of heart. Can’t wait to finish it soon and get it out to the faithful readers! Thank you Literary Titan for this interview.

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Shipwreck Island by [McPike, James B.]

In the year 1866 a ship named the General Grant lost course on its epic voyage to London and crashed upon a subantarctic island off the coast of New Zealand. Legend has it that its cargo contained one of the richest in history–gold all mined from the Victorian goldfields in Australia. After years of mishap and misfortune–even death–no one has been able to locate its exact whereabouts.

In comes Roy Berenger, one of the world’s foremost experts on salvaging shipwrecks. Recruited to solve the mystery once and for all, he must use all his trademark talents and wits to uncover the historic shipwreck. The strange circumstances around its harrowing disappearance are mysterious and all-too frightening. Putting together a local crew with the latest technological resources at his disposal, Berenger ventures to this far-off island to pull off an audacious search attempt. But in order to find it–he must brave the real-life perils of hypothermia, great white sharks, high-sea squalls, and human treachery.

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Shipwreck Island

Shipwreck Island by [McPike, James B.]

Shipwreck Island by James B. McPike is an adventure story with mystery and intrigue. Roy Berenger, an expert in salvage operations of shipwrecks, is approached by the great-great-granddaughter of one of the survivors of the wreck of the General Grant, a ship that was carrying a group of miners and the riches they’d unearthed in Australia. But the General Grant drifted off course, crashed into the cliffs on Auckland Island, and sank. Natalie Claiborne needs Berenger’s help to locate the lost ship and it’s treasure. Natalie’s ancestor, Winston Claiborne had kept a diary that described the event and the conditions the survivors endure while stranded on a bleak island, as they waited eighteen months for rescue. The diary also included a crude map of the island with an ‘X’ mark in the middle. Most of the survivors perished, and the shipwreck had never been found. There are tales of the island being cursed. Berenger’s instincts tell him from the start that he shouldn’t get involved with this particular shipwreck, but… he can’t resist the lure of adventure. Lots of treasure hunters have tried to find the ship, and many have died in the search. Can Berenger and Natalie succeed where so many others have failed?

The story begins with a prologue set in 1866 when the ship’s crew faced imminent disaster off the coast of New Zealand, which drew me into the story. People have been searching for the treasure for one hundred and fifty years since then, and I enjoyed reading the section about previous treasure hunters looking for the wreck, starting in 1868 and followed by numerous other expeditions in the intervening years. I liked the inclusion of this history, which gave additional depth to the story.

It was interesting to read about the different technologies used in underwater salvage to locate shipwrecks, but when the equipment malfunctions and a series of other strange occurrences happen on the island the search proves dangerous and deadly. Someone doesn’t want them to find General Grant’s treasure and sabotages their efforts. I felt that some of the villain’s actions were contrary to their motives. The villain wanted to use other people to locate the treasure for their own personal gain, but then tried to kill those people before they had a chance to solve the mystery of the missing ship. I would have used a bit more clarification on the characters motives to really flesh out, what I think are, intriguing characters.

There were a few issues with awkward sentence structure and repetition in this book as the same things were expressed more than once using different phrasing. This distracted from the flow of the story. And I felt that the chapter when Roy goes to dinner upon his arrival in Auckland doesn’t really add anything to the story and could have been eliminated.

I liked that the book included a map that showed the area of the different shipwrecks and their location in relation to each other. This allowed me to better visualize the setting of the story, which I found helpful. Overall, I found this to be an entertaining story that puts compelling characters in perilous situations set in exotic locations.

Pages: 186 | ASIN: B07GRFW8LT

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