Sebastien grew up with a single mother who worked as a housekeeper for the wealthy families in town. He never knew much about his father, only select stories his mother would tell him, and Sebastian can never forget that his father left his mother when she was pregnant with Sebastian.
When Sebastian’s mother dies, he knows that this is the time to find his father and get answers and maybe even get revenge. Sebastian gets himself hired as a photographer on the luxury cruise ship where his father, Kostas, is the captain and, without Kostas being aware, Sebastian is looking for answers.
When tensions mount on the ship between the different ranks of crew members, Sebastian winds up in the middle of class struggle where Kostas deems himself the supreme ruler of the ship and its crew. But there is something deeper and more sinister going on aboard the ship and Sebastian knows that Kostas is heavily involved. When Sebastian begins to unravel the truth, his life will forever be changed by the revelations about the man he waited his entire life to find.
I struggled so much with this book most of the way through it. The beginning was fine as we meet Sebastian and learn about his life with his mother. Sebastian grew up without much money and without a father and, now that his mother has died, it’s time that he gets answers. Sebastien has been involved on and off again with Sophie, a childhood friend turned lover, and when Sebastian knows their romantic relationship has come to an end once and for all, he heads to the cruise ship in the Mediterranean where his father is the captain.
The point of view of the story shifts and the whole tone and style of the book was off for me. We are mostly in Sebastian’s point of view, but then randomly it shifts to other characters for a few lines and the structure of that was messy. We also get flashbacks at random times of when Sebastian was younger wedged in, and the flow was completely broken each time this would happen. Sophie also didn’t seem like a good friend to him and, in one flashback, we see Sophie betraying Sebastian in a brutal fashion, but still they remain the best of friends and resume their dating.
When Sebastian gets to the ship, he finds himself involved in a class war between the officers and the crew members. The book did not feel like it was present day, but no time frame was given, and it was difficult to place the story. There are Greek references to be found with the crew members living below deck in what they refer to as “Hades” and when Sebastian starts hooking up with a member of the crew, they refer to each other as Achilles and Patroclus and that was a bit much for what was presented as a casual fling.
Then there is the larger plot of Sebastian finding out what his father is involved with, and the writing style was too hazy for me to become fully immersed in any of it. Most of the plot details were given in broad strokes and the larger scenes felt contrived. At the end, maybe Sebastian was going to be in a relationship with another man that came on the scene late in the book, but that also wasn’t clear. I felt none of the impact the author most likely intended with the story. There wasn’t a lot to like here for me, from the characters, to the plot, to the style and it’s a long book that I don’t recommend.