Her trip on the luxury ocean liner RMS Atlantica is supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime, but when Caz wakes up to find that every other person on the ship seems to have vanished, it becomes a waking nightmare instead.
It’s a good thing I went on my first cruise before I read this book. Partly because it makes it easier to visualize the setting, and partly I probably would have been more anxious about wandering around its deserted decks or corridors late at night had I had scenes from this book playing through my mind.
As it is, the author does a great job playing the inherent eeriness of an empty ship – the vast empty spaces, the thousands of tables and rooms set up for people who’ve vanished, and the meagre feet of metal keeping its four passengers from the great cold depths beneath. The genre of this book is a bit hard to define – it’s meant to be a thriller, but I’d consider it horror. Over the course of the story, we see four people break down from psychological torture in claustrophobic detail.
However, suspension of disbelief is a bit tough with this book. There’s so much unrealistic technological stuff happening that I decided to pretend it’s set in the near future. The utter disregard displayed toward Caz and her fellow stranded passengers’ rights to freedom and privacy are really beyond the pale – I swung between being indignant over how frustrating and unrealistic it was and being horrified over everyone’s mental disintegration.
The final chapter just pissed me off though. Rating this book was tough, so I’ve just decided to split the difference and give it three stars.