by Auburn Seal
Publication date: October 31st 2013
Category: New Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Source: ebook provided by author
in exchange for an honest review
What if the only thing standing between you and certain death was the spirit of someone long dead?
Avery Lane, a plucky grad student, is determined to discover the fate of the colonists from sixteenth century Roanoke. Nearly one-hundred twenty souls vanished without a trace in August 1597 and their demise has remained a mystery to world’s historical experts. Aided by a ghost from that time, Avery is certain that she is closer than ever to the truth, but soon discovers that some people will stop at nothing to keep the secret buried. Can Avery find the answers she seeks before it’s too late?
Historical Fiction is not a genre that has ever been at the top of my “to read” list, but when I saw the cover of this book I was immediately drawn to it. Once I realized it was a story based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke my interest was piqued. While I’m certainly no history buff, there are specific parts of history I do find fascinating and this is one of them. The historical facts in this book are impressive. I was glad to see that the author did her research. I enthusiastically dove into this story and swam with earnest to reach the other side of this historical enigma. The author did a marvelous job weaving not only the past and present together, but adding paranormal elements and allowing us to look at this piece of history from a different perspective — a remarkable attribute of Auburn Seal’s writing style. I love how Avery was pulled into this subject because of the enthusiasm for her thesis. What a great segue into this mysterious plot.
While the author had the potential to create a truly magnificent story here, it did fall a bit short for me. Roanoke Vanishing was a good story with interesting historical facts to help the story progress. Unfortunately, the dialogue felt forced at times. I noticed this right from the beginning when Avery, the main character, is talking to her best friend about being dumped by her boyfriend of five years. It didn’t feel like a conversation that two close friends would have about such a devastating topic. It was a bit too polished, or stiff, if you will. I wanted to feel the raw emotion, more true to nature, instead of feeling scripted. Another issue I found is that the story is told in third person narration, but every so often there is a first person narrative thrown in. Either that or it was supposed to be Avery’s inner monologue, which then should have been somehow differentiated from the narration. Whatever it was meant to be, it impeded the flow of the story. I had a difficult time truly engaging and felt these obstacles hindered my ability to fully immerse myself in the story.
Roanoke Vanishing is a story full of mystery and intrigue built around an incredibly riveting historical event. Auburn Seal is a budding author with a great premise. I believe, if given the time to bloom, she’ll be overflowing my “to read” list with fantastic stories in the near future.
~About the Author~
Auburn Seal enjoys zipping through life in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she finds herself surrounded by a great family—one super-cool husband and three awesome children—and gorgeous scenery.
She is a fair-weather blogger (it’s possible she has commitment issues), and has a unique ability to weave the dead into her stories.
Auburn graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Student Loans. Oops, Justice Studies. Note the irony. Still, Go Sun Devils!
One of her favorite activities is getting to know new people, so send her an e-mail and check out her website.
Auburn’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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