Book Review – The Beached Ones by Colleen M. Story

book review – the beached ones by colleen m. story

About The Beached Ones

Daniel and his younger brother grew up in an abusive home. Daniel escaped. Now an established stunt rider, he intends to go back to rescue his brother. But then one jump goes horribly wrong . . .

He recovers to find himself in Iowa, unscathed, yet his life has drastically changed. His best friend won’t answer his calls. Even his girlfriend is hiding something. Increasingly terrified, he clings to the one thing he knows: He must pick up his brother in San Francisco. In five days.

From the isolating fields of Iowa to the crowded streets of San Francisco, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

book review – the beached ones by colleen m. storyMy Thoughts

The Beached Ones is a remarkable and beautifully written exploration of love and loss, friendship, family, damnation, redemption. Daniel, who has died whilst taking part in a motorbike stunt show, wakes up in a world that is familiar and yet different. He does not know that he is dead, cannot understand why most people ignore him. He is driven by a burning imperative: in a couple of days time, he has to pick up his little brother from a summer camp in San Francisco.

Much of the book is a dreamlike journey towards that end, full of disconnected incident, obstacles, frustrations and yearning. Interspersed are flashbacks of memory, through which the terrible truth of Daniel’s story is not only revealed to the reader but confronted by Daniel himself. In counterpoint to this, there is deepening but troubled relationship with an ex-girlfriend, one of the few people who can see him in his ghostly state. Supernatural components are important but not overdone. There are themes of suicide and the book may be an unwise choice for vulnerable readers, but it is ultimately a brave, redemptive and life-affirming story, both haunting and memorable.

About the Author

Colleen M. Story has worked in the creative writing industry for over 20 years. Her last novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner. A full-time freelance health writer, she also publishes nonfiction books for writers including Your Writing Matters and Overwhelmed Writer Rescue. As a workshop leader and motivational speaker, she helps attendees remove mental blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. When not writing, she’s playing the French horn, walking, reading, and exploring the beautiful Northwest. To learn more, see her website (, motivational blog (, and mystical blog (, and connect with her on Twitter (@colleen_m_story).

Isobel Blackthorn

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