Today I am delighted to be the next stop on the Beyond the Surf blog tour.
A young woman’s dream.
A mercenary tycoon seizing the opportunity.
Islands ripe with potential.
…. All in the throes of coming of age through political unrest …….
Kayte King lives to kitesurf. Financially broke in her windless hometown, Kayte’s spirits sink to all new levels. When an all-expenses paid invite to The Martinez Islands presents itself, to promote tourism with the potential to break her current world record — a once in lifetime opportunity — Kayte grabs it.
Accompanied by her boyfriend, Steve, she travels to the islands with high hopes and expectations. They link up with their American counterparts and form the kitesurfing group that will attract tourism the islands desperately need.
Mercenary leader, Roger MacGill, brought in to eliminate anarchy, is tasked with the formation and training of a local police force. Stability temporarily subdued, MacGill has capitalised on the island’s beauty and invests in its modernisation. But, MacGill is now dangerously low on funds and desperate to see returns on his investment.
The kitesurfing contingency’s arrival rocks local interest. Fascinated by the kites, yet wary of foreigners, their apprehension bubbles to the surface. Storm clouds gather. The political unrest that follows, threatens to shatter all their dreams.
Beyond the Surf is a YA novel and even though it can be enjoyed by adults also, I do think it will appeal to the YA market more.
The authors description of The Martinez Islands really brings the island to life. I could easily visualise Kayte and the others kite surfing and feeling the wind as well as hearing the waves crashing. To start with it certainly sounded like a great holiday destination.
It isn’t long though after Kayte arrives that alarm bells started to ring. As fabulous as the island comes across, there certainly seems to be a dark side to it. Within the short amount of time that Kayte and the other kite surfers are there, an uneasiness starts to take over which isn’t helped by certain events.
I have to admit to struggling with the characters slightly. Kayte I really did like but her relationship with Steve really did infuriate me. From the moment we meet Steve it is obvious he isn’t right for Kayte and she deserves better. Even though Kayte is slowly realising what a jerk her boyfriend is, I just really couldn’t understand her concern over him. After his behaviour whilst on the island, I would have happily ditched him and left him to fend for himself. It certainly left me at times wanting to grab Kayte by the shoulders and give her a good shake!
As a forty something year old woman reading this novel, personally I would have liked a bit more depth in certain parts of the story. I.e the political unrest as the story for me just skims the surface and I was left wanting to know more. I also would have liked there to be a bit more of the book dedicated to Kayte being back home as it felt to rushed and seemed to end quite abruptly. This is only my opinion though and I think this is why it will probably be more suited to a younger audience than an adult one.
Overall, Beyond the Surf is an enjoyable read and one that I am sure will be a hit with the younger audience, especially ones that love water sports.
Many thanks to Kate at Authoright for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.
About the author: Henry Neild divides his time living in a small village outside Winchester and a coastal retreat in southern France. Leaving school age 16 Henry worked in the film industry as a freelance location manager and later turned his hand to music videos for bands including; Oasis, Moby and Pulp. Returning to college he studied Agricultural Business and Finance which took him to work in Africa. He went on to become a rural property developer and wine exporter before setting up web-based conduit for commercial property owners and filmmakers in the UK. He has previously written scripts for Sky Travel and Fierce Vision as well as articles for magazines including; Hampshire Life, Flybe and Society. Henry’s interests include walking with his Patterdale terrier, Mister Bonaparte, gardening, cooking and horse racing, he is also a keen tennis player and ocean swimmer.
Amazon Link: www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Surf-hwneild/dp/0993531806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456480833&sr=8-1&keywords=Beyond+the+surf
Beyond the Surf by hwneild (published 11th March by HNL RRP £7.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores. For more information please visit hwneild.com or follow him on Twitter @hwneild .