Monday, January 20, 2014

Distant Echoes by Colleen Coble

Let me just start by saying that I absolutely LOVE Colleen Coble. Her writing never fails to captivate me from the beginning and leave me wanting more at the end. So, it was no surprise that I enjoyed Distant Echoes, the first book in the Aloha Reef series, immensly.

Distant Echoes (The Aloha Reef Series #1)It seems like paradise, but dark secrets lurk just below the surface.

When a tragic accident downs a tourist boat off the coast of Hawaii, dolphin researcher Kaia Oana is one of the first in the water, risking her own life to try and save others. She’s enlisted to help the U.S. Navy find out what really happened—utilizing her specially trained dolphins to help.

Kaia and Lieutenant Commander Jesse Matthews team up in the investigation—but as they edge closer to the truth about the incident, their own lives are threatened. Will a spirit of grace and forgiveness prevail or will it be overshadowed by the distant echoes of past pain and the imminent danger from a cold-blooded killer?

Set on the breathtaking Hawaiian island of Kauai, this novel provides an intoxicating mix of romance and suspense with the rhythms of island life.

My Review: The characters, oh the characters! I instantly fell in love with the Oana family because of their devotion to God and each other. I can connect with Kaia (pronounced KIGH-yah) and her feelings of abandonment and hurt. Her character is greatly defined by what happened to her as a child, but the ending was satisfying. The transformation was interesting to read about. Lieutenant Commander Jesse Matthews also has past hurts that define his character. Both him and Kaia are fiercely loyal to those they love and wish they could take all their pain and hurts away.

The story started with a tragic accident and flew from there! I loved the twists and turns Colleen threw in the midst. I also loved how she incorporated the Hawaiian culture throughout the book, because you can tell that it is important to the Oana family. THANK YOU for providing a list of pronunciations and definitions of the Hawaiian words at the end of the book. I highly recommend reading this list BEFORE you read the book. It will help you pronounce the words and names.

The message of the book aligns with the Hawaiian spirit of aloha. The definition of aloha is a warm Hawaiian greeting or parting; love, grace, sentiment, compassion, sympathy, kindness, affection, friendship; to show kindness or remember with affection. Isn't that what God wants us to do?  Doesn't God want us to put aside past hurts and forgive people, just as he has put aside his past hurts and forgiven us?

Overall, I highly recommend this book. I can't believe I waited so long to read it! I am starting the second book today!

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