Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: My Last Continent, by Midge Raymond {ends 7/16}

Thom and I stand together on the rear deck, watching the Australis moving in the distance like a time-lapse image of a drifting iceberg: slow, massive, inevitable. In one of the articles I'd read about the ship, a spokesman for the parent cruise company had bragged about how the Australis would cruise to every last inch of the planet, that no place was off-limits to a ship this invincible. It reminded me of what people once said about the Titanic.

This novel actually debuted last summer, and now it's out in paperback. I did a giveaway last month for a signed copy, but that was before I had actually read the book; now I have both a review of the book and another giveaway (for *another* signed copy!) for one of my lucky readers to win.

I'm a big fan of shipwreck movies, such as Titanic, and this book was similar. It was also interesting to learn more about Antarctica and penguins.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: My Last Continent, by Midge Raymond
An unforgettable debut with an irresistible love story, My Last Continent is a big-hearted, propulsive novel set against the dramatic Antarctic landscape—“original and entirely authentic love story” (Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project).

It is only at the end of the world—among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica—where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few blissful weeks they spend each year studying the habits of emperor and Ad√©lie penguins, Deb and Keller can escape the frustrations and sorrows of their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is tenuous, imperiled by the world to the north.

A new travel and research season has just begun, and Deb and Keller are ready to play tour guide to the passengers on the small expedition ship that ferries them to their research destination. But this year, Keller fails to appear on board. Then, shortly into the journey, Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from the Australis, a cruise liner that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean. Soon Deb’s role will change from researcher to rescuer; among the crew of that sinking ship, Deb learns, is Keller.

As Deb and Keller’s troubled histories collide with this catastrophic present, Midge Raymond’s phenomenal novel takes us on a voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. 
My Last Continent is packed with emotional intelligence and high stakes—a harrowing, searching novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences—“Half adventure, half elegy, and wholly recommended” (Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves).

This book was very well-written, and part of the reason why is because it jumps back in forth in time. We see how Deb originally started penguins, and the author even takes us back to her college years for this. We see how she and Keller first met, and how they fell in love; I would argue that a companion novel could be written from Keller's point of view, actually, since this novel is written from 1st person POV from Deb's perspective.

In the present, Deb is back in Antarctica, but Keller isn't on their ship - she later finds out he's on the Australis, a huge cruise liner that shouldn't even be in the same waters as her ship, as it's not equipped to do so. Later, when they get the distress call that the Australis has taken on water and is sinking (much like the Titanic, IMO), of course her first thought is of him, and she desperately wants to make sure he is fine. 

I have never been to Antarctica and now I'm a little scared to do so after reading this book, ha - between the ice and the frigid temperatures, it does sound like a beautiful continent, but also quite dangerous. I'll stick to visiting Alaska at some point instead.

4.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers has yet another chance to win a SIGNED copy of this book!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, July 15th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

My Last Continent paperback

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Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 70 books.
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