Alexander Banebridge is as handsome as a god with the brains to match. Yet he is tormented by his past. The past that he chose before he was a Christian. Now he is fighting with all his might to undo the wrongs he has committed. He knows that he can never have anybody close to him because if he did then that person would either be hurt or killed. Lydia Pallas does not fit into the equation…or does she?
Lydia needs to face some hard things about herself.
And Bane needs to figure out his future before it’s too late.
With God’s grace…can they do it?
I thought that Against the Tides was a nice book. I enjoy Elizabeth Camden’s writing style. She always has some sort of suspense in her books that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Her plot is always tight and her characters full of flaws and strengths. She also has a broad vocabulary, which I don’t often see in that other authors have. I have to double check the words I know sometimes and ask, “Is that word really right?” before I look it up to make sure.
I liked how Lydia and Bane flirted throughout the novel. It was sweet banter with an almost desperate air since they both knew that they wouldn't have much time together before they had to separate. Is it just me or does desperation add a fantastically romantic spin on a situation? Lydia is a nicely developed character, just as Bane is. You can almost immediately pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. I admire how the author can put just enough humor and suspense together to make the novel flow perfectly. It always makes me want to read more.
I liked how the author started this novel out when Lydia was a child. For me, that made the book a little more memorable. After reading so many books, they begin to run together after a while. Elizabeth Camden also created a memorable character in the Professor. He is just such a good evil villain! Bane and Lydia may fade into the background for me, but the Professor does not. He’s a unique character. Also—and this always helps novels to stand out—the front cover is beautiful.
One thing I disagreed with in the novel was how Lydia found her salvation. Was she really saved? It didn't really mention Jesus much, and He is the One by Whom our salvation came. Bane said that she had to find her own salvation. Well, I agree and disagree with that. I agree with it in that after we are saved we must work out our own salvation with “fear and trembling” as the Bible says. But we must first be saved through the belief on Jesus Christ. I did not see Lydia believe on Jesus. So the salvation part of this novel was not entirely clear.
Against the Tides is a good, solid read. I suggest reading The Lady of Bolten Hill before reading this one, though. It will lend some depth to Bane’s character if you do. But the novel is perfectly understandable if you do not.
Also, one more nit-picky thing. Lydia Pallas is a weak name. I am not going to remember that name after I finish the book. Alexander Banebridge is strong enough that I'll remember it. I had to read the synopsis again after I finished the book to remember Lydia's last name. I like the quote by Herman Melville(author of Moby Dick). "If you want a mighty novel, choose a mighty theme." I believe this refers to mighty names as well.
I give Against the Tide four out of five stars. It was your average Christian novel. Good, but not fantastic. Not anything I would want to read twice. And I’m always looking for a novel like that.