I normally do not like to read a book in the middle of a series, but I recently made an exception when I was asked to review William Dietrich’s The Emerald Storm: An Ethan Gage Adventure. It is the fifth book in the Ethan Gage series.
Ethan Gage is an American adventurer in the late 1700s and early 1800s who finds himself in various situations around the world. He is an intelligent and somewhat trusting (self-admitted) person who has the unique talent of getting in tough spots, but also the ability to get out those tough spots. The previous four books took place in various locales of North Africa and the American West.
In the latest book, Gage finds himself in France trying to figure out a way to sell an emerald he poached from an Ottoman Turk and retire with his wife and child – he emphasizes retirement several times throughout the book, but you get the impression he will always be seeking retirement. He and his family end up in the Caribbean trying to find the lost treasure of Montezuma. In the process, he survives the last battle of the slave revolt in Haiti.
Dietrich writes a very engaging and interesting tale. The plot has many twists and turns and includes real life characters and events, such as aeronaut George Cayley, English spy Sir Sidney Smith, and Haitian General Dessalines. Not only that, but he also works in real science and geography into the text. For instance, there is a scene with a glider and Dietrich provides a basic structure of the glider and how it worked.
Not only is the story compelling, but the characters are easy to like or hate as the case may be. For instance, Gage is very easy to like by his mannerisms and behavior. I found myself laughing at him and the situations he found himself in. In addition, Marabel, the main antagonist, is a vile and despicable creature that is fully flushed out in the text.
The book kept my attention all the way to the end.