Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Die a Dry Death

The fully laden Batavia wrecks atop a reef. The crew abandons the ship, leaving most of her precious cargo aboard. The passengers, including women and children struggle to reach the small inhospitable islands close to the wreckage. Once there, it becomes painfully obvious that the survivors are facing starvation and dehydration. The ship's captain and commander leave the islands in search of supplies and rescue. In their absence, Jeronimus Cornelisz takes command of the islands. He abandons some survivors on the other islands and then begins to rule supremely. He kills all who challenge his rule. Not even women and children are safe. This is the story of those who lived and died on three small islands.
This book begins with the shipwreck and continually gets worse. The melancholy quickly transitions to fear and dread.
This book is sold as historical fiction, but I believe that this label limits the book. Greta van der Rol has the ability to get into the characters' minds and allow the reader to glimpse into their thoughts. This makes the book deeper and darker.
The writing at the beginning of the book is a little slow, but it is used to set up relationships that will soon become important. The action quickly picks up and the reader becomes lost in the story.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read on when humans stop being human.

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