Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

The Titanic is arguably one of- if not the– most famous luxury liner ships in history with a tragic ending for most of the passengers that were aboard the ship. Out of the 2,224 women, children and men, only 710 survived… and most of the survivors were first class passengers. The Titanic had the ability to carry 64 life boats which would have been enough at capacity per boat to carry almost four thousand people- more than the ships passenger capacity. White Star Line, the company who owned the most luxurious ship of the time, decided that a total of twenty would be enough… which equates to only about half of the people on board to survive. The Titanic hit an iceberg in the dead of night in the Atlantic Ocean after receiving multiple warnings and not listening. We all know how the story goes… or do we?

Tip of the Iceberg follows the story we all know so well, seeing the Titanic set out on her maiden voyage but with a little known secret that rages aboard the world’s best ocean liner. We start out with Patrick, one of our main characters, playing a card game the night before the ship is due to set sail. In his card game, he ends up winning over his opponent and finds himself the new owner of a tiny monkey, Pandora. Esme Jackson, another main character, dreams of being able to get away from her current life and start anew with her sister Charlotte. As a way to get to America, she accepts a chambermaid job aboard the Titanic hoping to do a good enough job to stay on with the liner to be able to provide her sister and herself their new lives that lie within an arm’s reach. Bridget Grafton, new wife of the socialite Captain William Grafton who is the sole heir of Grafton Steel Co., finds herself stuck aboard the ship while her husband rubs elbows with the who’s who of socialites in both Europe and America. Things are normal aboard until people start mysteriously dying faster than anyone can figure out what’s wrong. Are all of the souls aboard the Titanic doomed before the ship hits the iceberg… could that be the reason for not heeding the warnings of what lies in the Atlantic’s waters ahead of them? How are three strangers lives intertwined with each other? Things are getting deadly aboard the ship, but will there be any survivors… and what about the dead body that bizarrely disappears without a trace?

I’ve never had the pleasure to read any of Ash Hartwell’s work until now, but I wanted this bad boy- I mean, come on, it’s about the Titanic. I remember when the movie with Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio came out I went to see it three times in the theater… which is a lot for a ten-year-old. I knew at the time that the story in the movie was fake but it was based on an actual ship and I was hooked; that obsession faded some over time but not completely. Skip forward many years and enter in Hartwell’s Tip of the Iceberg with a huge twist to the story we think we know- something horrific is going on aboard this ship. There are multiple attacks happening and bodies start disappearing in the middle of the ocean; it’s pretty scary to think about because there’s nowhere for the bodies to go. Hartwell’s take on what happened on the maiden voyage is innovative and is sure to leave you with images that will haunt you, make your insides knot up and keep you wanting more right up until the end.

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The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride

The Unfleshed

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

The Black Death, or the bubonic plague if you want to get technical, was one of the worst killer diseases in recorded human history. What started on something as small as a flea on a rat had the power to knock out a massive amount of the human population- roughly about sixty percent. This disease came so quickly that most doctors were not able to come up with a cure fast enough, leaving the general population to fend for themselves until death finally decided to show mercy and end their torture. When the Plague makes its way into London, nobody has a clue about what is going on or how to stop it; there were no such things as antibiotics, no hospitals with modern things we take for granted to help when we’re sick. So, what is the top doctor in the area at the time to do as the plague sweeps through, threatening the population… and more importantly, his obsession?

The Unfleshed starts us in 1348 London with the main male character, Angus Wulfe- leading physician of the time. Dr. Wulfe has quite the reputation, having earned it over the years and reaching as high up as being called for from Lords and such. The one thing that Dr. Wulfe had never had before was love in the form of a wife. Never had he found the one to make him want to pursue another in that fashion, until Morrigan Kingsley. Morrigan is young, decently up the on the societal ladder, and everything that Angus believes he needs. When the doctor is called away in the middle of the night for the King’s Herald to tend to his sudden onset of sickness, he comes across something in which he has never seen before. With a quick expiration date and a new sickness that nobody knows how to cure, Angus sets himself to the task of finding a cure before his beloved Morrigan comes down with this sickness. When Morrigan does get sick, Angus sees this as the perfect opportunity to achieve his ultimate goal- to wed the lovely Ms. Kingsley. He offers her parents to save her with what he believes is the cure if they will give him their permission and her hand in marriage should she make it through.  Will Angus be able to save Morrigan from the plague threatening to take her from him? Will Morrigan be able to save herself from an unwanted marriage after being on death’s door? What will be the consequences if either get to achieve what they want? Pick up a copy of The Unfleshed today and find out.

The Unfleshed is the first book from Lisa Vasquez I have read and it did not disappoint me. A wearer of different hats- one being the main figurehead of Stitched Smile Publications (who boast such authors as Mike Duke, A.J. Brown and Brianna Robertson) the bar was set pretty high for Lisa and she delivered. The Unfleshed delivers the perfect creep factor with horror and terror mixed into it that it turns your stomach a little bit as you sit on edge, waiting for the next piece of the puzzle to be dangled in front of you. When I sat down with this book, I did not know what to expect and I ended up reading half of the book in one sitting, on edge as I flipped through the pages- eager to know what happened next. I look forward to seeing more from Vasquez in the future.