Another long overdue review, but better late than never. From the moment I selected to review this book, I could not wait to read it...but then life kind of derailed all my good intentions to read and review it within the allotted month. So recently, I set aside a day to read Against the Tide, and I’m glad I had the entire day free because it was so hard to put down!
It begins in the late 1800s, with the introduction of our heroine, Lydia, who is a translator in the research wing of the US Navy – not a low stress job! It’s through her work that we are reacquainted with Alexander Banebridge from Camden’s first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. Together they navigate the depths of the opium trade, and overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, both political and personal.
I really liked Lydia’s character. Strong, talented, and determined, but her strengths are balanced out by her addiction, which doesn’t really rear its ugly head until the latter portion of the book. I thought she was a great counterpart to Bane, and I loved that she was an intelligent female presence in her line of work.
As for Bane, I have to admit, I didn’t really like that he was redeemed in The Lady of Bolton Hill because he was such an awesome bad guy – but I think his character development in Against the Tide really connects the dots as to how he’s journeyed from baby-faced teenager to a man with purpose. He’s more mature in this book.
I give it four out of five stars! It was a good read, full of suspense and action, and a bit of romance too.
[My advisory note: Opium addiction is covered in detail. It’s evident throughout the book that Lydia has a history with opium, albeit a somewhat “innocent” association, if I can call it that. The pharmacies of the time sold a syrup containing opium to parents and orphanages in an effort to “soothe” children to sleep, calm nerves, relieve a headache, etc, so it is through continual use into adulthood that Lydia has become fully addicted. The book does show Lydia going through withdrawal and it’s pretty unpleasant. Just a heads up in case anyone is sensitive to the topic.]
I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for my free, honest review : )