It’s Cruising Time: “Day Four”

23341590Day Four by Sarah Lotz
Little, Brown and Company: June 16, 2015 (Horror)

Beach Vacation

Congratulations on choosing a Foveros Cruise, your one-way ticket to Relaxation and Fun! Fun! Fun!

Three days of vacation bliss, then on day four Beautiful Dreamer is dead in the water. Mechanical failure or something more sinister?

When a fire breaks out on the Beautiful Dreamer, the ship stops moving and all communication is lost, the crew and the guests assume that it will only be a matter of time before another ship will stop to help them in the busy Gulf of Mexico. When no other ships appear on the horizon the crew and the guests are forced to consider that they are well and truly screwed. Some turn to the spiritual, some to drugs; what everyone can agree on is that rescue is not imminent.

Day Four is related to readers in multiple perspectives from both the guests and crew of the Beautiful Dreamer. What all of these people have in common is that they all have secrets or a past. The strength of Day Four is in how well Lotz has constructed these inter-related narratives. The crew and passengers that readers are introduced to are all flawed, some more than others. The construction of these individual stories is reminiscent of Stephen King – think morally ambiguous, yet completely compelling characters. While there’s something more than a simple ship’s malfunction going on in Day Four, it’s the characters and their experiences and their pasts that make Day Four an interesting read. What’s happening aboard the Beautiful Dreamer is made important only through the experiences of those characters that the reader is introduced to.

What readers need to watch out for in Day Four is the fact that it is a sequel. I have read some reviews that claim you do not need to have read The Three to enjoy this one, and what I have to say to that is this: LIES! In terms of the main plot of Day Four, sure, I didn’t need to have read The Three; however, when you think about the linkage to the events that apparently happened in The Three, it’s obvious that there’s more going on. Something went down in The Three and it must be part of the mysterious reason  why this cruise ship was stranded – it’s not a mechanical failure, it’s intentional. Since I haven’t read The Three I did feel like I was missing something in terms of what connects the books in this series (trilogy?). I definitely recommend reading The Three before even thinking about picking up Day Four.

Day Four is the epitome of the beach read. Nothing says vacation quite like a cruise and Lotz delivers with a creepy and mysterious read. I left Day Four with more questions than answers – but I am intrigued. From all accounts, The Three is a book to check out and I think in reading that I just might get a better picture of what exactly is going on (and perhaps a higher rating from me). There is something supernatural at work and I do want to know why these strange events are happening. Reader be warned, there is not an open and shut ending to Day Four.

Similar Reads

What I found interesting about Day Four is Lotz’s use of multiple character perspectives and the more ambiguous quality of their morality.  Immediately I was reminded of Stephen King, so why not recommend my favourite King novel, The Stand. While The Stand is a much longer novel, I think it will appeal because it’s large cast of characters as well as the supernatural elements that are part of the apocalypse.

The Stand

Nick Cutter is another author that I think would be a great follow-up to Day Four. Both The Deep and The Troop deal with a cast of characters stranded. Cutter’s style is also reminiscent of Lotz, so I think fans will find a lot to like in both of Cutter’s novels. In The Deep a strange plague is wiping out humanity and the deepest crevices of the ocean just might prove the solution. For those that are curious about who or what might have caused the cruise ship to stale, The Deep is the read for you.

The Deep

The Troop is another excellent read and one that I think will appeal to readers that liked the characters of Day Four. Like Day Four, The Troop also explores what people will do when they are desperate and cut off from the world.

The Troop


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