Draca, Geoffrey Gudgion: Book Review

A fast-paced, exciting read with Viking culture and incredible character development, don’t miss out on Draca by Geoffrey Gudgion.

The plot:

Draca was a vintage sailing cutter, Old Eddie’s pride and joy. But now she’s beached, her varnish peeling. She’s dying, just like Eddie.

Eddie leaves Draca to his grandson Jack, a legacy that’s the final wedge between Jack and his father. Yet for Jack, the old boat is a lifeline. Medically discharged from the Marines, with his marriage on the rocks, the damaged veteran finds new purpose; Draca will sail again.

Young Georgia ‘George’ Fenton, who runs the boatyard, has doubts. She saw changes in Old Eddie that were more sinister than cancer. And by the time Draca tastes the sea again, Jack’s ‘purpose’ has become ‘possession’.

There’s an old boat with dark secrets, and perhaps a mind of its own.

Your heart skips a beat

Draca is quite a simple book when you look at it from the outside, but is layered with so much wonderful detail and the exploration of themes makes it a real page-turner and definitely not a simple book.

I really loved the character development within this – each character has really been brought to life, with Gudgion creating such complex beings, each not being the same. I got very attached to each for their own different reasons, and it was exciting but also worrying to see how they progressed.

The author has done a spectacular job with making every page jump out. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m currently living near the sea that it felt so realistic, but I could envision everything!

Each chapter had a excerpt from a ‘saga of King Guthrum’ which added so much more to the book, exploring what might happen in the next chapter, and tying in brilliantly to the ending whilst adding culture and an extra spark to the story. Within the chapters, you hear from a few different characters’ view point, and this flowed well for me (although leaving you eager for the next part!!)

There’s some moments when your heart skips a beat, and I found my heart racing alongside the characters in the book.

It explores PTSD and mental health without holding back – there are some moments which are horrid to read, but isn’t ‘washed away’, like other authors might do. There are also themes of relationships (both negative and positive), as well as a mysterious element to tie it all together.

I really struggled to put this down; the ending wasn’t rushed, and I appreciated how it all came together in the way it did – realistic with a nice twisty surprise. The author’s previous career in the armed forces comes through and is probably why it felt so real.

A really great and interesting read; worth picking up and escaping into. I can’t put my finger on why it isn’t a 5-star read, but it definitely warrants 4-stars. If you like the exploration of these themes and seeing character’s progress, you’ll enjoy this.

Draca, Geoffrey Gudgion, RRP £9.99 (paperback); Unbound 

Pages: 384

Publisher: Unbound

Genre: Fiction

Please consider buying this book directly from the publisher here [external website].

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