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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Slow Burns

Ship Wrecked by Oliva Dade

Or what the cast of Game of Thrones was really thinking

Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the third book in the Spoiler Alert series; I read the first one, appropriately titled Spoiler Alert, and very much enjoyed it. The third book became available on Libby before the second, but it actually worked out. I was more intrigued by the premise, and the location, of this book. Now I’m looking forward to the second book, All the Feels.

Basically all three books revolve around the cast of Gods of the Gates series, a thinly veiled mock-up of Game of Thrones. The characters in this book end up spending six years on a desolate Irish island (Inisharan according to Dade but I was feeling more Banshees of Inisherin) with just two actors and a small crew. Over the years this little group becomes a little family, something that leading lady, Mara Ivarsson, has worked hard to cultivate as family is one of the most important things to her. Peter, Maria’s co-star, is less interested in making friends on the set, but in time, he drops his reserve and becomes a vital part of the little group. It’s an idyllic little existence, well aside from the weather, except that before Maria and Peter auditioned for their Gates roles, they had a one-night stand that Maria walked away from, leaving Peter a bit wounded. They determine early in the filming that it would be best for them to remain friends so as not to disturb the delicate balance. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from pining for each other over the next six years. And once their portion of the series is wrapped, they have to decide if they want to give in to the chemistry that has been burning over six long years.

Thankfully, Dade doesn’t torture the readers for too long - this is a great mix of spice right off the bat followed by a slow burn, with the grumpy/sunshine and forced proximity tropes thrown in. There are throwback chapters along with excerpts of transcripts from interviews and Cons. The Gates cast group chat is a great insight into the various other characters and I think the later part of this book follows the actions in the second book (will let you all know once I read that one!). As a reader, I love the chats and the articles sprinkled throughout, it breaks up the narrative and I think in short little sections give added color to the story.

I think that if you have ever shipped a TV couple, whether in real life or on the screen, Ship Wrecked, and Spoiler Alert especially, will speak to you. It’s looking at it from the other side and as someone who has ‘shipped a long list of TV couples, this might be the greatest ship of all, the one where the real romance is actually better than the tv version.

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