ARC Review: Blue Voyage by Diana Renn

ARC Review: Blue Voyage by Diana Renn
Blue Voyage
by Diana Renn

Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Young Adult
Publication date: October 13th, 2015
by Viking Books for Young Readers

Format: ARC

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An intricately crafted mystery set in the contemporary Middle East.

Zan is a politician’s daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she’s rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother–daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that’s both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan’s quest to save the treasure—and the lives of people she cares about—leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there’s only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Immediate reaction after finishing book

(Look at that beautiful smile though. #brb #dying)

What I liked

  • The mystery. I love me a good mystery and that is exactly what this book offers. It is brain candy, food for my soul and so so soothing. Sometimes, a girl just need to lay back with a good mystery that will turn the wheels in her head and keep her guessing. 
  • The setting. This book is set in Turkey and the author does a really good job of making that atmosphere come to life for a reader who has never been to Turkey. She also includes terminology and while I cannot say with certainty whether or not she represents the Turkish culture authentically, I didn’t think she was offensive at any point and painted a very pretty picture (if one filled with a lot and lot of crime.)
  • The way she weaved in modern day issues. The mystery in this book revolves around an antiquities smuggling ring and the author really brings to light how horrible this issue is. It’s not something you would normally think about but these are crimes against our history and its heartbreaking to think that there are so many important archaeological pieces that have been stolen from their countries and hiden in personal collections where the public cannot access them. Renn also asks a lot of important questions like to whom an artifact belongs. 
  • The Relationships. The relationships in this book are a complicated mess but I love the way Renn develops them. Families are not perfect and sometimes it takes a while to realize that. Sometimes your mom might suck at listening to you but it doesn’t mean she is secretly evil or out to get you (even if it might feel that way.) 

What didn’t work As much

  • The main character. I don’t necessarily want to include her here because I did like her, I just wasn’t okay with some of the assumptions she made. For starters she isn’t perfect which is cool. She is also diverse! She is part Jewish (although not really religious but hey, it still counts since she was raised that way) and she also suffers from vitiligo (I thought it was worth mentioning because that doesn’t come up that often in books.) She also tends to have the kind of attitude that assumes that Americans are better than foreigners. I get wanting to trust people from your own country but she doesn’t ever question the Americans she is surrounded by and chooses to not trust everybody else. It was kind of a major pain in the butt. At one point when someone does something questionable, her reaction was “but they’re AMERICAN” and I was like NOPE.
  • The conveniences. As much as I adore the mystery and the fast paced nature of the plot (which is right up my alley) I also thought there were a lot of conveniences within the pages of the book. Especially in terms of ways the bad guys got things done and I found myself going ??? really??? can there be no other explanation? 

Book in Three words

Fast paced, thrilling, adventurous. 

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Overall: 3.8
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Sometimes the conveniences in mystery books put me off, like NO WAY, IT’S TOO CONVENIENT, IT CAN’T BE THAT EASY! It makes me feel that the author got lazy. But it’s pretty cool that you find more things that you liked in the story. I actually want to go to Turkey, but it is kind of scary as a woman traveling there. The book really sounds interesting!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 265 : Sweep In Peace by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

  2. says

    So, I DO hate conveniences… but I also like all the stuff in your positives list too. Like Turkey!? Yes please! And a good mystery plus realistic relationships may make up for those annoying “easy” outs. Plus the cover is pretty… so yeah, I guess I will be giving this a shot ;) Great review, glad you liked this!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Halloween ScenesMy Profile

  3. says

    OOOOOH this seems intriguing. I love myself some good mystery too, and I’m pretty much interested in reading the book. I’m still undecided though, because of the main character part. I mean, I would definitely get annoyed if the assumptions came out pretty much throughout the book. But. The whole story sounds really reaaally good so I’ll give it a try. Great review! :)
    Maryam recently posted…Review: Unspoken (Shadow Falls: After Dark #3) by C.C. HunterMy Profile

  4. says

    I’m used to conveniences in novels but the main character really does sound annoying. I’m glad, though, that the rest of this book–particularly the mystery!–held out despite your minor complaints. Wonderful review, Rashika! I hadn’t heard of this one at all but I’m definitely adding it to my TBR now. :)

  5. says

    Rashika you always seem to be coming across little gems of books lately, I really do like the sound of this one, I think more so because its not typically the sort of book that I would go for, but I like the sound of the mystery and the setting, I love it when authors are able to whisk you away to another place and make it realistic. Sorry you weren’t able to like the MC though, but at least she didn’t take away the enjoyment of the entire book from you. Thank you for putting this book on my radar! :)
    Jasprit recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: #29. With Malice by Eileen CookMy Profile

  6. says

    The whole issue of trusting Americans over other people is something very typical from movies and books for the most part and it really permeates all over the culture… and as a foreigner it irks me to no end! I don’t think that’d be enough to make me dislike the book because it seems like it has many other things going for it, but I’m glad you mentioned it Rashika!
    Great review!
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