Publisher’s Summary: Wesley Vandergrift wonders why he isn’t like the other boys in his coastal South Carolina town. It’s not easy being the son of an eccentric billionaire mother. His life consists of big secrets in a big mansion and only one friend. Overprotected and insulated from the rest of the world, Wesley yearns for the kind of exciting outdoor adventures he sees on “The Snake Stalker”-his favorite TV program, starring the charming Jack Mackey.
Now through a twist of fate, Wesley meets someone who knows his hero Jack Mackey-a real-live relative. And soon Wesley finds himself in more of an adventure than he bargained for. Dare to take the plunge with Wesley on an exciting journey of shipwrecks, venomous snakes, and kidnappers. The legendary curse of the Serpent Tide will forever change Wesley’s life-and, perhaps, yours.
Content advisory: Lots and lots of action sequences and fights, most of which are largely bloodless but with plenty of action. There are a few kissing scenes, but they don’t go beyond kissing and “passionate embraces”. Coarse language and substance use is non-existent.
Does this book end? No; there’s an epilogue that sets everything up for the sequel, Widow’s Revenge.
My thoughts: When I finally got around to reading this book, I think I was expecting something different. My family has listened to the audio version, and I’ve inadvertently listened to snippets of it, so I think I somehow got the impression that this was a fantasy action book of some kind. It’s not, but that’s not its fault. Like most action-adventure books, it starts out as a mystery, then flies into escalating circumstances of danger, combining with deceptive lulls of safety that are easily shattered, and finally ends in a happy way that still leaves you wondering if all really is well. Wesley, Jack, and the other characters go through roller coasters of suspense, emotional drama, and action before coming to something of a conclusion. Dialog, characterization, and events all combine to make a compelling story, one that my family loves and that I enjoyed as well. Above all, there were some great lessons on faith and perseverance without getting too preachy.
The bottom line: If you love action, suspense, and romance (in that order), and want something in a family-friendly package that slips in some teaching moments, Serpent Tide is for you.