NIGHT SEA JOURNEY: A Tale of the Supernatural
By: Paula Cappa
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Kip Livingston is an artist living in an isolated cottage on Horn Island. Every night she experiences vivid nightmares. But her nightmares are much more extreme than other people’s. In fact, it seems that her nightmares follow her into real life and she has no idea how to make them stop.
Father Garcia is a Street Preacher in Chicago who is anything but traditional and whose goal is to help the inner city’s youth to escape the cycle of drugs and violence. Father Garcia is not a traditional Catholic priest. He covertly runs a needle exchange for addicts. He preaches in parks and on the street. And he is secretly married and the father of an infant son. During the course of his ministry he befriends a street kid who calls herself “Chop Suey Sammie”. During a drug deal sting gone bad Sammie is shot dead by the gang leader, Nico. When her soul leaves her body “Garcia stood up, holding Sammie’s body, blood soaking his shirt, eyes searching the tunnel and arches. ‘Nico! You’re a dead man’.” This single event is the catalyst for major changes in Father Garcia’s life.
Meanwhile, Father Raymond Kera is having a crisis of faith. He is best friends with Father Garcia and he envies how sure Garcia is about his path in life. Father Raymond attempts to leave the priesthood and is denied by Rome. Instead, he is sent by the church to spend a few months doing carpentry work on a new church being constructed on Horn Island, Rhode Island. While on the island he is supposed to spend time reexamining his faith.
It is inevitable that the paths of these characters will cross.
Paula Cappa has created believably flawed characters with whom readers will be able to identify. She has a gift for description. This shines through particularly well when she describes the island easily creating detailed pictures in the mind of the reader. It is these descriptions that so readily create the perfect ambience of the supernatural. This is demonstrated when Father Raymond arrives on the island and is taking a cab ride through the countryside to his destination: “But it was the gleaming black horse in a far meadow that caught his eye. Arched neck, tail high, the steed reared up and pawed the air. For a fleeting moment, Raymond thought he saw wings unfurl on the sleek backside.” This single moment in time, quickly forgotten by the priest seems to foreshadow paranormal events to come.
Paula Cappa should be described as courageous. Using Catholic priests as characters in a novel is a risky proposition. The catholic priests who are in other works of fiction usually fall into one of two categories: the perfect priest; who is kindly and wise and can do no wrong OR the evil pedophile priest who preys on young children and uses his authority to manipulate and control. The two main priests in this story, fortunately for readers, do not fall into either category. They fall into the category of “real person.”
I have always wondered why the Catholic church clings so stubbornly to it’s belief that to be a priest, one must be male and must also be celibate and remain forever unmarried. This book seems to question the wisdom of that dictate as well. Most writers would fear the wrath of the Catholic church and it’s powerful PR department, but Paula Cappa forges ahead relentlessly with her story. I applaud her for that.
The story consists of many different genres of fiction. The fact that Kip is seeing what Raymond believes are demons in her dreams sets this book firmly into the category of paranormal fiction.
The character building in this novel is flawless, the imagery sublime and the dialogue realistic. The author’s choice of character name for the patron who purchases much of Kip’s artwork shows a knowledge of religious history. In short, Paula Cappa is a talented, gifted author and ‘Night Sea Journey’ is a phenomenal book which I will not hesitate to recommend to others.
The story moves quickly and readers will find themselves swept up in the lives of Kip, Raymond and Garcia as if in a tidal surge. Readers should clear their calendars for a few days because they will be unable to put this book down once they begin.
I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars.
About The Author:
Paula Cappa’s Official Author Bio (taken from her blog):
Paula Cappa’s novels include Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural, and The Dazzling Darkness (Gothic Readers Book Club Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction and Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Award), published by Crispin Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Whistling Shade Literary Journal, Sirens Call Ezine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, Fiction365, Twilight Times Ezine, and in anthologies Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, Mystery Time, and Human Writes Literary Journal. Cappa’s writing career began as a freelance journalist for newspapers in New York and Connecticut. She writes a weekly blog, Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror.
To learn more about this author visit: https://paulacappa.wordpress.com