I recently read The Maui Quest and have to say that although I found the story somewhat interesting the mother and her two sons who wrote the book failed to intrigue me.
Going by the pen name of D.W.M. Beck, Mimmi, Wolfgang and Dirk Beck have joined forces to deliver a delightful tale set on the island of Maui.
The main character, Kai, is searching for his family's most historic heiau, a sacred site often used for prayer. He is to spread his recently deceased father's ashes there.
The background of the relationship between Kai and his father is provided, as are several historic scenes from the time of Captain James Cook. Cook is the English explorer said to have had the first contact with Hawaiian natives in the late 1700s.
There are accounts of Hawaiian battles and atrocities as the Hawaiian islands are colonized and missionaries take over.
However, I struggled to really connect with the significance of the history with Kai. It wasn't as though he was reflecting on the stories. Nor were they being shared with him.
Kai is 19-years-old and knows nothing of his Hawaiian heritage until he ventures to the islands. But, the authors fail to develop his character for me. I don't have a feeling for his emotions on his journey nor do I have a sense of who he is deep inside.
The journey introduces the reader and Kai to relatives he didn't know, since he grew up in California and not on the islands.
But an introduction is all I believed I had. He spends a day here with an aunt, another with a grandmother and a grandfather is included in the story.
But, every connection made seems to only scratch the surface of what could have been developed so the reader could better understand the individuals.
As a result, it seems Kai's relationships are hollow at best. He doesn't bond with the family members and when he seeks help from an archaeologist with knowledge about heiaus, I was left to wonder why he would trust this stranger.
Anyone with a base knowledge about Hawaiian culture has been taught Hawaiians don't generally trust what they refer to as haoles. A haole is a foreigner or white person.
But, Kai chooses to trust the haoles rather than his relatives, greater emphasizing the lack of connection with his family.
The story is supposed to be an adventure threaded with some mystery. The back of the book dubs it as a thriller-travelogue, but I didn't feel the thriller aspect.
Reading the book I was taken to several locations on the island, but never felt a sense of impending danger. My adrenaline never spiked.
I wondered how specific scenes/chapters tied to the rest of the story when the authors transported me to locations where construction on a resort was to take place and discussions regarding the permit process were held. I wondered about the archaeologist's collection of artifacts when it was revealed he needed one last piece. But, it was just a surface curiosity, never a deep suspicion of something terribly sinister.
I enjoyed reading The Maui Quest because I was hoping to find more depth to the storyline. I enjoyed it because I could visualize the scenery.
However, the story was mediocre considering I have picked up books that require less time to read and still are able to keep me on the edge of my seat, often from the first page.
I think these authors show some talent and had a great premise. They just need to keep working on developing the skills that would have made this a true thriller.