Chambers of the Sea

Written by Alan Vazquez
Review by Cindy Vallar

The sea is a place of legends and superstitions, none more so than with the Mary Celeste. The ship floats in a place where no other vessel should be when Captain David Morehouse and his crew first spy her six miles ahead. The closer they come, the more they feel wrapped in a shroud of uneasiness, a bad omen of what lies ahead. John Wright and Oliver Deveau are sent to investigate. Neither wishes to go, but they must heed their captain’s order, even though they find themselves swathed in a dense shroud of mist. Once aboard the derelict, there is no one to be found and no clues as to what occurred. Only a voice that whispers, “Leave.”

The abandonment of the Mary Celeste is perhaps the best-known sea mystery. In the winter of 1872, the Dei Gratia comes upon the derelict. Vazquez takes what is known about this event and spins a haunting psychological tale. Once spooked, a domino effect occurs giving rise to tricks that the mind plays in order to make sense out of that which is unfathomable. What works against this are the formatting and grammatical errors, poorly worded sentences, misspellings, and missing letters or punctuation. Several italicized passages interrupt the story’s flow. Although the tension level could be higher, this is a yarn for curious readers seeking more than just the facts. Vazquez includes an epilogue, which reveals what happens once the ships and crew make port.