A Ship Possessed
by Alton Gansky
I’m not one for scary stories because I can really freak myself out when reading them (or seeing a movie with such content), however, upon reading the back of the book and about the mysterious arrival of an old World War II submarine, my interest was peaked and I ended up buying the book. I love to read about historical events set in fictional settings…the whole “what if” factor.
A Ship Possessed takes place off the coastal shore of California and the main character of the book is a ship, the USS Triggerfish. The Triggerfish was a submarine that disappeared back in World War II…but is now back, fifty years later! The arrival of the submarine is full of mystery. What happened to it and where was it for all those years? Better yet, why has it returned? These are the questions J.D. Stanton, a retired Navy captain, is asking. But as he begins his investigation, he is drawn into a whole new world that involves the spiritual; something that Stanton has never encountered before.
The story Alton Gansky created is very engaging and it keeps the interest of the reader. I found myself drawn into the story and in the mystery of the ship and those who were aboard her when she disappeared. Throughout the story, Gansky kept the mystery alive by delaying the inevitable opening of the submarine. The suspense of the story was also enhanced by the past which was told in increments; enough insight to guess on possible scenarios but not enough information to know if your assumption would be the correct one.
And yes, there were creepy parts…those paragraphs that made you look around your room, just in case. Not enough to terrify me, or to overshadow the possible reality of the story, but an ample amount to keep the supernatural part intriguing. Weird noises, changes in temperature, and seeing things one minute that were not there the next are but a few examples of the haunting of the Triggerfish.
I would suggest this book to those readers who enjoy historical fiction since this story follows the past as well as the present. If you like fictional stories about World War I or II then you might enjoy this book. The content is appropriate for both the teenage and adult reader; male or female. I wouldn’t advise this for the preteen audience or younger due to the supernatural aspect unless you feel your child is mature enough to handle these type of stories.
Also, non-story related, I want to mention the cover of the book. My eyes were drawn to the cover which enticed me to pick the book up. I love the depiction of the submarine under the ocean water. I often glanced at the surreal painting of the Triggerfish as I read the book. Great cover art by Melissa M. Elenbaas.