In The Waves by Rachel Lance

My husband and I have been all about anything dealing with 2,000 leagues under the sea lately. For his birthday this year, I even did an at-home submarine-themed escape room for him! This book was destiny for us to read.

Thank you Dutton for my gifted e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: On the night of February 17, 1864, the tiny Confederate submarine HL Hunley made its way toward the USS Housatonic just outside Charleston harbor. Within a matter of hours, the Union ship’s stern was blown open in a spray of wood planks. The explosion sank the ship, killing many of its crew. And the submarine, the first ever to be successful in combat, disappeared without a trace. For 131 years the eight-man crew of the HL Hunley lay in their watery graves, undiscovered. When finally raised, the narrow metal vessel revealed a puzzling sight. There was no indication the blast had breached the hull, and all eight men were still seated at their stations–frozen in time after more than a century. Why did it sink? Why did the men die? Archaeologists and conservationists have been studying the boat and the remains for years, and now one woman has the answers. In the Waves is much more than just a military perspective or a technical account. It’s also the story of Rachel Lance’s single-minded obsession spanning three years, the story of the extreme highs and lows in her quest to find all the puzzle pieces of the Hunley. Balancing a gripping historical tale and original research with a personal story of professional and private obstacles, In the Waves is an enthralling look at a unique part of the Civil War and the lengths one scientist will go to uncover its secrets.

Talk about a real submarine escape room mystery – this is definitely it! I was completely captivated by this story as a scientist and recent submarine aficionado myself. Because Rachel is writing from a scientist’s standpoint, it may be a bit tough for some to enjoy reading the technical side of things, but I truly loved it. I was engulfed from the beginning and wanted to help solve this mystery so badly. You just HAVE to read it to find out for yourself what truly happened!

5/5 Stars

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