You Read What? Book Review: Seize the Storm

Author: Michael Cadnum

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publishing Date: June 5, 2012

Format: Hardcover Print

Number of Pages: 240

Number of Days It Took Me to Read: 1

Source: Toronto Public Library

MICHAEL CADNUM is the author of thirty-five books, including the National Book Award finalist The Book of the Lion. Seize the Storm is his most recent novel.


The title is the most interesting aspect of the cover in terms of design and the rest of the cover, the boat and the glare of the sun, reminds me of an R.L. Stine-esque novel.


          Sailing from California to Hawaii, Susannah, her family, and a crewman are driven by a vicious storm into the path of a drifting powerboat. The ghostly boat carries the bodies of two drug runners and a huge stash of money. For the sailors, stealing the sordid treasure changes everything, causing dissent and division, compromising each of them, and putting their futures at risk. Because now they are being pursued by the worst enemies imaginable, including a drug lord’s son eager to prove himself and a cold-blooded teenage hit man with murder on his mind.


The story was going really well and the actual conflict between the family and the bad guys didn’t occur until 2/3 the way into the book. That didn’t really bother me all that much because it was a great read up until then. The issue I did have was the ending which fell flat and, quite honestly, it felt like a cop out. There was so much build up but then when it came time to deliver…you’d blink and the moment disappears. I was disappointed because I saw potential wasted on a story that could have been much much longer 😦


Cadnum knows how to create drama without the flashiness of shoot outs and explosions. The pacing was amazing but as I said before, it led to a flop of an ending after such a well done build up. I loved the description of characters/moments. Two of my favourites can be found under the Instagram Book Moments.


I found the synopsis a bit misleading. It implies that Susannah is the main or dominate character when in reality 1) we’re given 8 different points of view and 2) the most prominent character despite the multi POVs was her cousin, Martin. Overall, the characters were really intriguing. They were all flawed on all different levels and the bad guys aren’t always “bad” and have their own reasons for doing what they do (Shako, Axel, Elwood, Jeremy, Leonard). It also had some kick ass and strong female leads (Susannah and her mother, Claudette). All in all, my favourite character would have to be Martin who was someone I think readers could connect with more than anyone else.

Memorable/Forgettable?: Forgettable. That’s what happens when you end it too early…

Rating: I give it 3 yachts out of 5

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

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