Monsoon Tide – Elsa Evripidou

Have you ever heard of a cBook? I hadn’t either. Monsoon Tide is the first cinematic book, an interesting blend of reading and watching a book. With only 15 short chapters, Monsoon Tide is a quick read/watch. Each chapter is followed by a video, furthering the story.

Set in England and India, we follow Anni on her journey to India where she plans to scatter her father’s ashes shortly after the 2004 tsunami. Through flashbacks we learn about Anni’s childhood and discover a mystery surrounding her mother’s death sixteen years prior. Upon learning that her mother didn’t drown like she’d been led to believe, Anni takes it upon herself to find out the truth. Her stepfather Charles, who is treated as an outcast, refuses to discuss her mother’s death. With secrets carried to the grave, unrequited love and suspicions her mother may have been murdered, this story follows Anni as she seeks answers.

While I loved the cBook concept and look forward to seeing how this reading/watching interplay unfolds in future novels, I felt this particular story needed to be fleshed out. While the story itself was interesting and mostly all there, except for a presumably still open police investigation, the characters didn’t work for me. There wasn’t enough time in the story to develop the characters enough for me to connect with them and I found I disliked a few of the characters, in particular Anni’s mother.

Some of the transitions between reading and watching were a bit disjointed but the story wasn’t so complicated that this created any confusion. Some of the acting came across as overdone but the script for the video segments didn’t give the actors a lot to work with as they were only telling snippets of the story.

Overall, this was an interesting introduction to a new concept and I’m glad I read/watched it. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Gatekeeper Press and Smith Publicity for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Monsoon Tide is the first cinematic book, bringing the best of the written word and film together in an exciting new concept. It combines a book’s ability to reveal a character’s innermost thoughts and motivations with film’s power to pull you right into the action and experience the sights, sounds and backdrop of the story.

It is the story of young aid worker, Anni who returns to her beautiful, tropical birthplace, Kerala in India in the wake of the Asian tsunami. There she encounters her reclusive and seemingly haunted stepfather in his isolated beachside house. She soon discovers that her mother’s death sixteen years before was not the accidental drowning she had been led to believe. It becomes her mission to discover the truth, whatever the cost. A haunting story of loss, love and secrets told in a unique way.