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Publisher's Summary

"I see things other people don't see; I hear things other people don't hear." Fifteen-year-old James McCafferty is an unwilling sailor aboard a traditional Chinese junk operated as adventure therapy for troubled teens. Once at sea, James believes the ship is being taken over by the spirits of courtiers who fled the imperial palace during the Ming Dynasty more than 600 years earlier and sailing to its doom. A psychological nautical adventure with strong historical and paranormal elements.

©2015 Linda Collison (P)2015 Linda Collison

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Water Ghost

I enjoyed this audiobook. The author has a way of putting you right there with her characters.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Yet Confusing

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not sure what to make of this book as it is almost is two books combined into one book. The beginning started out so interesting and sort of reminded me of an ocean version of the Hatchet or one of the Will Hobbs books about river rafting. That part of the book was really good. The second half of the book is a whole other story as it seemed to shift to a book about the main character and his communication with a boy in the past that went headfirst into this strange sexual story. I really wished the author would have kept going like the first part of the book instead of shifting into the second part. The ending felt rather abrupt without much information about what was happening as far as what was real and what was a sort of dream.

I guess this book would be fine if you are into the teen romance genre with some action and adventure built-in. I was not expecting this shift and felt surprised it had no warning as it is pretty graphic. I have seen young adult defined as 12-18 but I would be very reluctant to recommend this book to anyone younger than 16 and would not have students read it as part of a high school reading list. Maybe future books could either go the first route with limited sexual references or go another route where the content is better described as having sexual scenes in it. The narration was very nicely done as he nailed the voices really well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Adventurous, captivating tale.

I am finding that I really enjoy Linda Collison's style of writing. Her stories are dramatic and engaging, her characters are always well-developed and interesting. Though I didn't enjoy this story as much as Collison's Looking for Redfeather, it is a captivating tale.

The author's descriptions are so well-written, it was easy to imagine everything that was happening in the story. It moves along at a good pace. I enjoyed the interactions between all of the very different characters.

Looking forward to reading more by this author. I listened to the audio version, and I thought the narrator, Aaron Landon, did a fantastic job with all the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unique story with tons of lore intertwined...

Water Ghosts by Linda Collison is a story about a group of kids that get sent away on a junk (type of ship) in the hopes that the time away will help them with their issues. Think of it as a journey in lieu of a boot camp or those wilderness adventures that troubled teens sometimes get sent on. The story revolves around James, a fifteen year old that can hear and see ghosts. There is a lot of Chinese lore and mythology in the story, which was really interesting to learn about, though the story itself was pretty choppy and moved around a lot. I feel that it probably should have been fleshed out a bit more to make it flow better. Overall though, if this sounds interesting to you, give it a shot!

Aaron Landon did a good job bringing the various characters to life. He had unique voices for the characters and it was a job listening to his narration. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Collison is a great story teller...

What did you like best about Water Ghosts? What did you like least?

Collison is a great story teller...but she needs a better editor! This book had so much promise. The story is compelling, unique, creative, and I loved, loved, loved the back story/story within a story as told by the ancient Chinese eunuch ghost. The problem w/ Water Ghosts was that the flow fell apart at points (badly) and made the story seem choppy and at times loaded with superfluous, distracting detail. For example, she repeatedly hinted at the main character's sexuality; at times he was interested in some of the female characters (one in particular) and at other times he was interested in another male character who was also his bully. That stuff wasn't fleshed out enough and it didn't contribute to plot progression in any way so it ultimately ended up just being confusing and making the book seem as if it wasn't edited. There were several instances of that sort of thing happening. I got the sense that Collison has loads of stories to tell and good story ideas and maybe she became overzealous with this novel and tried to incorporate too many side stories that weren't helpful towards the goal of telling the central story in this book; the troubled teens on the boat and how they unwittingly collided with troubled ghosts from the past.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Water Ghosts?

The story within a story as told by the ancient Chinese eunuch ghost...absolutely awesome! This was literally on the level of Amy Tan story telling about ancient Chinese culture. It was so well done!

What about Aaron Landon’s performance did you like?

Excellent - youthful, good energy. His performance kept the characters believable even when the story itself went astray.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely!!

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

This was not at all what I was expecting but I still enjoyed it. It pulled me in from the beginning and had me hanging on every word ALMOST until the very end. The last few chapters really threw me, they seemed tacked on in a rush to finish the book. Other than that, it's a great story and the narration is good, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Almost perfect!

Wow.
This MC is sick! Sick in the head in so many ways.
Compared to the other folks on this ship, he is decent at heart.
I don't like to tell much about the story while doing these reviews, because there is already a summary. Just let me say this started out so, so strong and continued that way all the way up until I had to sit through three chapters of a very graphic history lesson. Don't get me wrong--I enjoy learning--hence the enthusiasm for reading.
This is somehow considered a young reader novel. I don't understand how so much detail can go into describing genitals and/or the removal of said genitals, be it historically accurate or not. Just saying.
I enjoyed listening to the narrator from the start. This could have droned on monotonously if not for his talent in changing up his voice in keeping with the many complex characters.
Shock value or not, I could not bring myself to give this any less than five stars.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I have listened to another book by Linda, and have loved both of them! It is a great story and Aaron had a great delivery. I loved the characters and the fantasy/history weaved into the story. Thank you!
Kathleen Holeman - narrator and jazz musician

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Thrilling YA paranormal adventure

James was an interesting, likable character and the Chinese mythology elements were very well incorporated in the story. The narrator did a great job, each character was distinct and different from the other.

This was a good listen, even though I had some issues with the plot. Mainly I feel like there was too little happening and sometimes side stories got too much attention. For example, the ghost's story too almost 2 hours, and I felt like it was a bit boring and would have like more focus to be on the main story. That made the ending rushed in my opinion, and the cliffhanger ending made it more so. Despite that I would gladly read the next book and am interested in what will happen next.

"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

nice young adult book

I liked this book very much is a cool book
with a great storyline and a great narrator the book was very cool and I enjoyed to listen to it quite much

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JEYCEE
  • 02-20-18

Water Ghosts

The story of the audiobooks moves smoothly forward with engaging characters that everyone can relate to, whether you are a young reader or an adult

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Finola H. J Clark
  • 05-25-18

Ghosts of ancient china meet youth of today

This story tells a tale of coming of age. Not a sweetie-pie, goodie-2-shoes kind of tale, one with real troubled-teen characters full of easy to identify with angst, fears, ego and need to be either all-powerful or just plain liked.
The lead character is a genuinely mixed up kid - 'gifted' with a special skill that is the stuff of nightmares...ones that come to life in all to real ways. There's plenty of character twists, apprehension, suspense and moments where you're holding your breath willing the next words to save the day!
I really enjoyed the listen - it's an unusual story that brings in little bits of history and Chinese culture through pretty unique snippets of myths and legends.
I was given a free copy for an honest review. If you like ghost stories, go for it. It's a good one

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Raven
  • 01-29-18

Interesting story

Water Ghosts is the story of James, a fifteen-year-old boy sent on a working holiday by his mother. His vacation is set aboard a ship, a Chinese Junk. The voyage is for wayward teens. However, he soon becomes convinced that the voyage is doomed and that there are ghosts aboard the Junk.
James is a troubled boy and throughout the story the author keeps you guessing as to whether he has a mental illness or if he really is psychic.
The narration was good but I did speed it up a little. As for the storyline, I enjoyed getting to know all the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer's Reviews
  • 10-27-17

Enjoyable Ghost Story

Myself and my nieces very much enjoyed this YA offering about a young lad, James, who has what we in the UK would call 'the sight'.

His Ma and her current boyf send him on an off-beat version of summer camp - a voyage on a wreck of a Chinese junk.

Bullied and marginalised, James does at least have his special gift; but his summer would have been so much less troublesome without it...

There is adventure, the paranormal (or normal if you are 'sighted' yourself) a gorgeous old boat and a very believable young narrator in this audio-book.

Recommended.