A Last-Minute Contender

Last week, I posted a list of 2018 books I’m thinking of reading, looking for something I can nominate as the best book of the year.  I’ve just noticed that a book which I thought had been released in January was actually published on December 31st, 2018.  The book is Voyage of the Lanternfish, by fellow blogger C. S. Boyack.

[Note:  when I tried to search for the book by title at Amazon, the site decided to insert a space between lantern and fish, then told me there was no book with that title.  “Smart” search, guys.  I’m glad you paid all those developers to help me out.  I ultimately had to search for the author’s name, which gave me this book as the top listing.]

lanternfishVoyage of the Lanternfish

I’ve read a couple of blurbs and excerpts on the author’s website, so I’m looking forward to this novel.  A young man wants to fight back against the bad guys, and decides the only effective way to do that is to take to the seas as a pirate.  He launches his new career in a small coastal town whose main trade seems to be piracy.  The locals dig up a bunch of false graves to retrieve their hidden muskets and gunpowder, and set out to sea with him.  This reminded me of the town of Shelmerston in the Master and Commander series of historical fiction novels.  Although the Shelmerstonians (calling them Shelmerstoners might give the wrong impression) were primarily smugglers, they might have done a bit more piracy during an earlier time period.

Voyage of the Lanternfish isn’t pure historical fiction.  There are monsters — I’ve been promised a Portuguese Man-of-War large enough to engulf a sailing ship — and a Chinese woman who’s extremely dangerous because she’s a sorceress or martial-arts expert, I can’t remember which, maybe it’s both.

My problem is going to be reading this novel before the February 14th deadline for Planetary Awards nominations.  I’m hoping to take this year’s vacation time during January/February, which would normally give me plenty of time to read a 400-page book.  But, I’ll be taking my vacation a day or two at a time, as I drive back and forth across the country for job interviews, and I don’t want to sit up all night reading before an interview.  The other novels on my last post’s “reading” list were chosen partially because they had audiobook versions available, so I could consume them during my drives.

Leave me a comment if you have any thoughts on Voyage of the Lanternfish, or if you run across any other last-minute contenders.


  1. Reblogged this on Entertaining Stories and commented:

    There’s one public commitment. How about the rest of you. Are you ready to hoist the colors and set sail for adventure?

  2. I blame Amazon. I’m pretty sure we’re in the same country, but I waited until the first to upload my manuscript. (Because I had the day off.) How it wound up credited to December 31st is beyond me. I’m just happy it’s out there now. Appreciate you including it, and hope you enjoy it.

    1. Maybe Amazon back-dated it because someone’s annual bonus depended on the number of new products added in 2018.

      1. That’s likely. Do I get a royalty off that?

  3. I downloaded this book a few days ago and intend to start reading it in a few weeks time. I have read some extracts and it sounds very good.

    1. Thank you, Robbie. Hope it’s to your liking.

  4. I started reading it last night and I’m already enamored. I can’t wait to finish it! C. S. Boyack never disappoints.

    1. Thanks, Staci. That means a lot to me. We never really know until readers get their hands on our work.

  5. This was a quick, fun read for me–an adventure every night. Really enjoyed it!

    1. Thank you, Judi.

  6. I too got a copy of the book. I can’t wait to read it.

    1. I know you don’t review, but I’d love to get a note telling me what you thought. Appreciate all the help too.

  7. I’m starting this one tonight. It looks unique and entertaining. I’m always impressed with this author’s imagination!

    1. Appreciate it. Hope it’s one you enjoy.

  8. I would say that sitting in the airport bar post-interview is a great time to slip into a book and out of the real world completely, but driving while drinking/reading/escaping is frowned upon.

    1. I need a driving helmet with HUD that will let me read text while driving.

      Actually, that would probably make me extremely carsick.

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