Adiba Jaigirdar, author of one of Time’s Best YA books of all time, gives Titanic an Ocean’s 8 makeover in a heist for a treasure aboard the infamous ship that sank in the Atlantic many years ago.
A thief. An artist. A acrobat. An actress. While Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah, and Violet seemingly don’t have anything in common, they’re united in one goal: stealing the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book aboard the RMS Titanic that just might be the golden ticket to solving their problems.
But careless mistakes, old grudges, and new romance threaten to jeopardize everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes. While the odds of pulling off the heist are slim, the odds of survival are even slimmer . . .
Anything involving the Titanic has always been a source of fascination for me. Pair that with a team of female characters involved in a heist on board? That made this title irresistible.
I listened to an automated voice galley ARC of this book which isn’t my preference, but it’s what I was approved for. Not being a stranger to the synthesized ARCs, I knew it might be hard to distinguish between characters – and it was. But I loved the diversity of the main characters both in ethnicity and backgrounds and the sweet romance between two of them.
I didn’t realize until after finishing that the Rubaiyat is an actual rare book that went down with the Titanic. That fact lent an air of authenticity along with the countdown of the sinking noted at the beginning of each chapter. The characters’ plan to steal the Rubaiyat is dangerous and fraught with unexpected roadblocks, but it comes with a big payout and it’s a risk they’re willing to take. Knowing their time is limited creates even more tension for the reader. Which of them will survive, if any?
A couple of things did disappoint me. It takes several chapters to actually get to the heist, and while the romance is adorable, I didn’t expect it to be such a large portion of the plot. That’s something that probably isn’t an issue for many readers, and while I don’t mind romance being part of a story, it overshadows the heist, which is one of the things that drew me to this book. The Oceans movies are aptly used as comp titles, but I was surprised that some identical/nearly identical plot points are taken directly from one of those movies and the Titanic movie (not the historical details).
A heist aboard the Titanic is a compelling concept, and I believe I would have enjoyed this book more with a human narrated audiobook or an ebook ARC.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.