Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 256 Pages
At a Glance: Whither Thou Goest is fast paced and one wild and fun page turner.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Johnny Smith meets Church Chetwood during the dark days of the Great Depression. He knows Mr. Chetwood can’t be his forever. Why would the handsome and charming director want to stay with a young man who has nothing but his body and skills in bed to offer? His Mr. Chetwood can have any woman—or man—he wants, but Johnny is going to keep him as long as he can.
When they have to leave suddenly on the SS August Moon to evade the process servers trying to find Church, Johnny is glad they’ll have more time together. But the crew rises up against the good Captain Johansen, urged on by a stowaway who wants the August Moon for himself. Johnny and Church, together with the captain, the cook, a wireless operator, and the little girl Johnny saved from prostitution, are cast off into a small lifeboat—and doomed to the open sea. Their other option is to try to land on the island where Church once discovered a saber-toothed tiger. The problem is, the last time Church was on this island, twelve men paid the price with their lives. Will Johnny, Church, and their friends make it out alive this time?
Review: Whither Thou Goest takes us on an amazing journey back to the time of the Great Depression. Here we have danger, adventure, love and romance on the high seas, and on the mysterious island of Iwi Po’o. When I first started to read this tale, it reminded me of the original King Kong movie, made in 1933 when the Depression was at its lowest. There aren’t any giant gorillas, but there are saber tooth tigers, wooly mammoths, spiders, a volcano, and Romans who are looking for sacrifices for the volcano. And there are lots of other surprises too. I visualized the cargo ship SS August Moon like the one in the movie, and found some similarities to the King Kong plot.
Johnny “Kid” Smith came from a wealthy family, but his father felt Johnny brought embarrassment to his name. Johnny has nothing and is living on the street when he finds himself being befriended by Church Chetwood. Even though Johnny is facing hard times, he’s smart and also turns out to be a savior to a young girl, Hildy. And he’s not ready to let Mr. Chetwood go.
Church Chetwood is our extreme movie director. He takes chances that no other movie director would dare just to bring “the unusual” to moviegoers. His first seafaring trip to Iwi Po’o was a terrible disaster, and to add to that, he brought back a saber tooth tiger that terrorized New York. These problems had him running from the law. He also has an emotional tie that keeps growing towards “the kid.”
Captain Frank Johansen, owner of the SS August Moon, was also on the run from the law since it was his ship that ventured to that strange island along with Church Chetwood and the doomed crew. He and the ship’s cook have a special relationship.
Charley (Chow Chi) has an interesting background. He grew up in the Forbidden City, trained as a warrior and spy for the Chinese Consulate. The story of how he and Captain Johansen meet is just amazing, and their relationship is one that’s unforgettable.
Nick Hendriksen is the young wireless operator on board the ship. He ran away from home at the age of fifteen to be a sailor. I found that Johnny, Nick, Charley, and Hildy seem to have an attachment that grows throughout the story.
Of course, there’s the evil, bad guy, Thorvald Lillesand, who gets the crew of the SS August Moon riled up and causes a mutiny, then places our six characters back on the island of Iwi Po’o. What makes it worse is that they get stuck again with the evil Thorvald on the island too.
Tinnean has packed Wither Thou Goest with an amazing cast of characters and their stories. It’s fast paced and one wild and fun page turner. Even though Johnny and Church are the MCs, I appreciated how Tinnean gave other characters the chance to tell their own stories—about how they met and became part of this tale. This novel is fantasy and history melded together—check out the Author’s Note for some historical facts that are mentioned in the story.
You can buy Whither Thou Goest here: