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Nonfiction Book Review of Black Wave
Black Wave Book

Black Wave

by John Silverwood and Jean Silverwood


Black Wave is the true adventure story of the Silverwood families’ brush with death on the ocean. In 2003, towards the end of a long voyage their catamaran runs into a reef in the darkness of night and they struggle to survive. Black Wave tells both the details of their voyage as well as the aftermath of striking the reef. There is also a second part to the book that makes comparisons to a similar accident that occurred in 1855 to the sailing ship Julie Ann.

Right out of the gate the book really grabs the reader by throwing them right into the middle of the crash. For me this was a double edged sword. It did really get me into the book and excited from the start, but I was disappointed when the story then began jumping back and forth between the crash and previous days of the voyage. I rarely enjoy books that do not have a consistent timeline and this was no exception.

A large portion of the first part of the book is devoted to how the family dealt with being together on a small boat for an extended period of time. This was interesting information and very well written, but lacked excitement when the story would jump away from the intensity of the crash. I would get a bit bummed out because I would really get into the crash scenes and wondering what would happen next and then have to read through a bunch more background information. This was good information and I feel necessary, but I would have enjoyed it more had the story built from the beginning and then worked up to the intense climax.

The second part of the book is a comparison between the 2003 crash and that of 1855. This is interesting information, but lacks the adventure quality of the first part and for me was not nearly as entertaining.

Overall I enjoyed the story, but did not enjoy the book so much. It is a great adventure story and as always being non-fiction makes it even better, however I felt it would have been better with a more linear timeline. Black Wave is easy to read and contains a good story, so if you are interested in ocean travels and boating then it is a quality read.

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