Friday, February 15, 2013

Fiji: A Novel by Lance Morcan & James Morcan

Fiji-A Novel by Lance & James Morcan

Book Name: Fiji-A Novel

Author Name: Lance Morcan, James Morcan

Genre/Tags: Historical 

Publisher: Sterling Gate Books

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Fiji is a spellbinding novel of adventure, cultural misunderstandings, religious conflict and sexual tension set in one of the most exotic and isolated places on earth.

As the pharaohs of ancient Egypt build their mighty pyramids, and Chinese civilization evolves under the Shang Dynasty, adventurous seafarers from South East Asia begin to settle the far-flung islands of the South Pacific. The exotic archipelago of Fiji is one of the last island groups to be discovered and will remain hidden from the outside world for many centuries to come.

By the mid-1800's, Fiji has become a melting pot of cannibals, warring native tribes, sailors, traders, prostitutes, escaped convicts and all manner of foreign undesirables. It's in this hostile environment an innocent young Englishwoman and a worldly American adventurer find themselves.

Susannah Drake, a missionary, questions her calling to spread God’s Word as she’s torn between her spiritual and sexual selves. As her forbidden desires intensify, she turns to the scriptures and prayer to quash the sinful thoughts – without success.

Nathan Johnson arrives to trade muskets to the Fijians and immediately finds himself at odds with Susannah. She despises him for introducing the white man’s weapons to the very people she is trying to convert and he pities her for her naivety. Despite their differences, there’s an undeniable chemistry between them.

When their lives are suddenly endangered by marauding cannibals, Susannah and Nathan are forced to rely on each other for their very survival.

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The Ninth Orphan), Fiji is an historical adventure-romance published by Sterling Gate Books.

A feature film adaptation of Fiji is currently being developed.

                                        My Review                                                 

First of all, I would like to thank the author Mr. Morcan for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. I received a free copy of the book from the author to review it for my blog.

The plot is written in the historical setting of 1800’s South Pacific. The year is 1848 and the story starts with the abduction of a beautiful Fiji maiden Sina. That’s right! This story starts with a bang! And not just the plot. You read the first para and you know you are going to love it. Take for instance, the visual prologue:

A Fijian maiden stooped to pick up a shell as she walked along a white sand beach at Momi Bay, on the western side of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu. Sina had a natural island beauty. Lithe and graceful, her dark skin glistened in the tropical sun. She wore a traditional grass skirt and shawl made from tapa, or bark cloth. The beach was bordered by a grove of coconut trees and the turquoise waters of the bay. Tropical birds filled the sky—among them Kingfishers that dived into the sea, competing for fish

Reading into the book, we come across the missionary father-daughter duo, Brian Drake and his lovely daughter Susannah, who have come to Fiji (specifically the Qopa tribe in Momi Bay) to educate the natives on the ways of the new god. We see Susannah struggling between her spiritual self and sexual self and trying to find a balance between the two. It was right here when the readers are introduced to Nathan Johnson, an American adventurer and trader. He too is going to Momi Bay to trade with the Qopa people.

Nathan and Susannah oddly find themselves attracted to each other and the chemistry between them is undeniable. As they reach Momi Bay, they find themselves in the middle of the tribal war between the Qopa and the Outcasts. The Outcast leader, Rambuka, kidnaps Susannah; Nathan along with the Qopa warriors goes after him and we find ourselves right there in the middle of all the awesome action! And personally I think Lance and James Morcan strength lies in their action writing. Every action sequence was written in exquisite detail and I loved it because I could really visualize what was happening. 

To say that this was Nathan and Susannah’s story would be wrong. There were so many people's lives and everyday dramas merged into each other's situation that each and every character made an integral part of the story. What I really liked was how the authors have given every character a chance to express his/her point of view.

I found the old traditions of the Fijian people fascinating and just as great as they are crude and gruesome. In keeping with the authentic tone throughout, we come across scenes of ritualistic slaughter and cannibalism. The novel touches on most of these now extinct practices in mad detail and it's AWESOME!

So overall, this book has a perfect plot, flawless writing and a consistent storyline with no kinks or glitches throughout. It was gritty and raw and nerve wracking. It keeps you turning each page wanting to know - what next? 

Buy this book at:

Visit author Lance Morcan's exclusive interview with Review Buzzz

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