Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Emerald Storm by William Dietrich is his fifth Ethan Gage novel. I would call the main character (Ethan) impetuous at best. I think for these particular series, it would have helped to have read some of the previous books before this one because I was left with mixed feelings about it when I was done. Mostly I thought it was a good romp, kind of like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, where the main characters seem to always be putting their neck in a noose for our amusement.

While there was a lot of humor in the book, it also covered topics like racism and freedom rather well. The Emerald Storm takes place mostly in 1803, when Napoleon is conquering Europe and the British are taking over the seas and the United States is thinking about buying Louisiana from the French before the British steal it from them both.

Ethan is a pawn to the powers that be and they all want a piece of him. Someone kidnaps his son to get him to find an ancient Aztec treasure lost long ago. His travels take him many places and he meets many interesting people and always seems to be one step behind his son’s captors, with his fierce wife by his side.

Overall, I enjoyed The Emerald Storm though after a while I got tired of Ethan always seeming to make the wrong decision whenever he had a choice. I also felt that the ending was not in line with the feel of the rest of the book. The ending was projected a little in advance but still was hard to take in. This is why I think reading one of the earlier books would be beneficial, to get a better sense of what goes on.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

A review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.