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Pelican Bay

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Some things are better left alone…

After Ethan Hodges discovers an undersea cemetery just off the beach of Pelican Bay, South Carolina, he seeks answers from a grandfatherly fisherman named Captain Shelby. The captain wants the past to remain buried, and he warns Ethan to stay away. But Ethan doesn't listen.

Ethan's best friend and secret love interest, Morgan Olinsworth, jo
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published July 20th 2013 by Imajin Books (first published July 19th 2013)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
The title of my blog is Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book and until I read this book I thought I had escaped into quite a few. Then I started reading Pelican Bay and I would have to say I was not only escaping into a book but immersing myself into it. Jesse has a very unique writing style. He has a very descriptive style that paints not only the images into your mind but feelings on your soul. It didn’t take long to enter the ghostly realm of Pelican Bay. You can smell the sea and hear the w ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Part suspense novel, part literary mystery, Pelican Bay is an original story set in a small, forlorn beach town in South Carolina.

The tale begins with our young protagonist, Ethan Hodges, discovering a sunken cemetery just off the beach that could very well be four centuries old. Compelled to find answers, he begins to ask questions to an old, quirky fisherman named Captain Shelby, a man thought crazy by the town. However, it soon becomes clear that the old grandfatherly figure wants the past to
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect read for me at this time of year when time spent near the seaside is a must in the hotter weather! If you enjoy books based around the sea and it's history and fables etc then there is every good chance you will enjoy this. This is a mystery based around an old man called Captain Shelby and a cemetery that our leading character Ethan Hodges comes across . The story is based in South Carolina and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the area throughout the story. You get a re ...more
Sara Gauldin
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a sure bet for a good read. The first few chapters had me hooked and I read the entire book with no lulls in entertainment value. The characters are multidimensional and believable. The author has an excellent vocabulary and has no qualms about putting it to use to give the entire story line a rich and detailed presentation that makes the plot come alive. There is something in this book for everybody; coming of age, historical references, nautical knowledge, romance, action, tragedy ...more
Solon Hosophos
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great page turner with deep characters. Captain Shelby is a not from our world but could easily live next door (or in the local marina to be precise).
The story never stops surprising the reader, though it evolves naturally.
This book shows clearly that we don't know everything and should always strive to be open minded and tolerant; the own realm and reality does not necessarily belong to our neighbour!
Looking forward to the next novel in this series. Hopefully again with Captain Shelb
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you love stories set in present day with a supernatural element, than this is the book for you. This is what pulled me into the story and kept me entertained right to the end.

Pelican Bay is a small seaside town which has previously experienced deadly storms and hurricanes and many of its inhabitants have lost their life due to the hurricanes or in the sea. Our main protagonist is Ethan Hodges, a writer who has lived in Pelican Bay all his life. His parents died 'out at sea' and his grandmothe
Is he alive or is he dead? That is the question...
Reviewed from e-book

Well-written, suspenseful, hauntingly surreal and atmospheric twisting between paranormal and magical, this book took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the camaraderie between Captain Shelby and the young Ethan Hodges. But is he responsible for the death of Ethan's parents? The young man spends most of his time on the beach with his friend Morgan Olinsworth, so naturally he notices the strange rocks that have suddenly appeared
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ethan's parents died at sea and he was raised by his paternal grandmother, Sidney Hodges. Sidney worries about Ethan since his best friend is a woman who he spends all his time with but she won't marry him and a crazy old man who talks to the pelicans. Ethan's best friend, Morgan, is a librarian and is painfully shy. Any time Ethan tries to profess his love for her or give her a compliment, she stops him and tells him she doesn't want to hear things like that. He's been friends with Captain Shel ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
*copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

~A chilling and riveting tale of mystery, suspense, and a little love.

This is the kind of book that I have been longing for. Not so much because of the content but for the writing. This book was so eloquently written that by the end of it not only did I believe I've been to Pelican Bay but I was overcome with envy. Christiansen writes in a way that I've been pining to do read and do myself.

Every page is a journey, and it doesn't stop eve
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is much to love about Pelican Bay as it is an incredibly well written mystery. For me, a great writer is one who captures the reader and keeps them hooked throughout their story wanting to read another page. Jesse G. Christiansen did just that.

From the moment that I started reading this book, I pictured the story clearly and vividly in my mind. The descriptions were so cleverly written and detailed that the story just came to life. I could easily imagine Ethan, Morgan, and especially, the
Nicole Dunton
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading Pelican Bay. It is a book written by Jesse Giles Christiansen. It is about a small town that has a man who everybody is afraid of. Like most small towns, they feel they should know everything about everybody’s business. Some things are just better left alone though. The town soon finds this out.

I personally loved this book. It was beautifully written. It was also a real page turner. I was hooked until the very end of the book. It reminds me of this movie I once watched c
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story was full of mystery and suspense. The author has a very descriptive writing style which transported me to the ocean. This seaside vacation wasn't relaxing but rather creepy and intense. There was always a storm brewing in Pelican Bay! The mystery centers on the nature of the enigmatic Captain Shelby who seems to have lived for hundreds of years. As Ethan and his friend Morgan begin to unravel this puzzle,storms threaten the town and people start to die. The last part of the story is ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book set in the tiny town of Pelican Bay, with the mysterious Captain Shelby and Ethan and Morgan, deals with a lot of the mysticism surrounding the sea. Who is Captain Shelby? Ethan and Morgan discover old gravestones under the water that have been hidden for centuries, and they begin to get very curious about the town and its history. Captain Shelby seems to have been there forever, maybe centuries, how can that be?

While this book isn't the traditional mystery, there is still lots of myst
Billi Tiner
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Pelican Bay” is an intriguing mystery surrounding a very old man who lives in the coastal town of Pelican Bay. The man has lived there for as long as anyone can remember and no one knows exactly how old he is. The story is beautifully written. The author definitely has a command of the English language. However, I felt as if there were places where the emotional responses to events that take place were a little over done. It lessened the emotional impact of the more dramatic parts of the story. ...more
Corinna Schwarz
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful in every way...,
I found this book hard to put down. Through Christiansen’s words I found myself in South Carolina and I enjoyed the descriptions of the area throughout the story. The story has amazing characters and I especially enjoyed the unique character of Captain Shelby. Action packed and full of suspense with great literary and mystery elements, brilliant read.
It is a Must Read!!
Judy Porter
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A mixture of life love death mystery and fantasy. Captain Shelby exists for all who care to know him. Those that don't. Well watch out

Awaiting the next book
Sherry Fundin
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Ethan was intrigued by the stones jutting above the water. He had to see them for himself.

It was an underwater graveyard.

Ethan talked his friend, Morgan into diving with him to see if they could find any names on the stones.

Morgan was a librarian, so when they found a name, she began to investigate.

Their search took them in an unexpected and dangerous direction.

Did Captain Shelby have all the answers?


I love legends of the sea.

Pelican Bay is a ghost story that has a gothic feel to
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story could not only be considered a suspense or thriller but also in some ways a coming of age story. The main character is a young man named Ethan, who ends up in over his head more than once due to curiosity or love. The mystery surrounding Captain Shelby is buried in age old stories and old wives tales, and he’d rather be left alone to fish and live his life, but sometimes childish minds will get carried away and pursue things better left buried in the sea. The story itself takes place ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review can be found at Weaving Pages:

I was asked by the author to review this book, and since is seemed like a great story, I accepted and I ended up really enjoying it!

The first thing that occured to me as I was reading Pelican Bay, was that I loved the detail and the writing. I felt like everything in the book was described with great detail which made everything much easier to picture. Also, the writing felt like it had a lot of depth to it, and i
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pelican Bay begins in 1931, the year of the great depression, and the drowning of a young boy, Aspen Langsley. It then jumps to present day and the lives of Ethan Hodges and Morgan Olinsworth. Ethan loved the sea and at a very young age he met Captain Shelby, a fisherman whose ship was always docked off the edge of the bay. Captain Shelby was a man of some age. Just how old he was no one knew but, regardless, he was a friend to Ethan. Ethan’s first surf board was made by Captain Shelby when he w ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pelican Bay is not your usual mystery book. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, interesting characters, murder or accidents? The story weaves back and forth in time. The book keeps your attention and wanting to know what is really going on.

At the heart of the story is a very old fisherman Captain Shelby. Everyone who knows him says he was old as far as they can remember.

Ethan Hodges was raised by his grandmother after his parents died at sea. He is really the only one who gets along
Susan Jane McLeod
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Southern Gothic Glory
I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a book where the location was as much a character as the characters. Pelican Bay is definitely alive. And that’s because author Jesse Giles Christiansen has done such a masterful job of creating it. The wild grass, the windswept beach, the unfathomable sea—they’re all looking over your shoulder as you read. It’s eerie and beautiful. It’s supremely poetic. It reminds me of Dylan Thomas and his Ballad of the Long Legged Bait. It sings and it wa
Ember Shane
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Pelican Bay is the first novel I've read by Christiansen, so I was not prepared for, and therefore blown away by, his seriously gifted writing style. His descriptions are more than just vivid; they are romantic and almost lyrical. Not only can you picture it perfectly, but you can feel the loss when the sun goes down over the bay or when Morgan still refuses to give Ethan hope of returned affection. There were a lot of elements to this story that I enjoyed. Captain Shelby's love for his descenda ...more
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
Pelican Bay was an intriguing and compelling mystery. I give it 4 and half stars, only because it took a bit for me to get into it.

Once I reached a certain point though, I did not want to stop reading! I had to know everything about Captain Shelby.

What I learned wasn't what I thought, but so much more! I'm very glad I gave this book a chance.

** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

My thoughts, feelings, and opinions are mine and mine alone.

I would definitely recom
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thought Provoking!
Mr. Christiansen tells this story in magnificent and descriptive detail. His descriptions are vivid and his storyline quite unique. I loved Captain Shelby's reminded me of some good Newfoundland friends! I enjoyed the historical, nautical and even paranormal aspects throughout the story. Ethan and Captain Shelby's relationship was well developed and interesting. It took me a while to warm up to Morgan, however by the end I was rooting for her and Ethan to end up tog
Shani Struthers
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in South Carolina, sitting by the ocean with a storm brewing in the distance! Very apt as this book is also set in South Carolina, in fictional Pelican Bay and storms within its page are not uncommon! A very atmospheric book, the story is a real page-turner and the writing by turns eloquent and exciting. I LOVED the character of Captain Shelby, Morgan and Ethan were great too, their unfolding romance very sweetly done. There's a mystery involved and, as this is part of a trilogy ...more
Candice Mckinney
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pelican Bay, on the coast of South Carolina experiences many bad storms and hurricanes. Ethan Hodges has lived in Pelican Bay all of his life. There is an old fisherman he became friends with when he was young named Captain Shelby. He has always had a special relationship with the old fisherman. Nobody knows how old Captain Shelby is. Everyone remembers him as being very old. Ethan finds an old cemetery that has been uncovered temporarily by the waves. Captain Shelby tells Ethan to leave things ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Not my genre but an OK read for those who like this weird stuff. I was confused by one character's demise on page 105 and then seemly resurrected on page 113 and then dead again. I am sorry I cannot be more positive. The author tells us he was influenced by "Shipping News", a book I loved, and I can not see any relationship other than some Newfoundland dialect. I will leave this book to others to try. It does keep you looking forward to a resolution, such as it is. The love interest is the best ...more
Terri Poche
Dec 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star because I can't give it 0

Don't waste your time. Mr. Christiansen seems to have a penchant for using his thesaurus and wanting the reader to use the dictionary. I have a very large vocabulary so kept up, but his usage of such obscure words, and redundancies, grated on my nerves and was laughably ridiculous. The only reason I finished reading this book is because I have a "thing" with abandoning a story. I won't be continuing with this series or any more of Mr. Christiansen's books.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fine read indeed

Love and strangeness intermingle beautifully in this novel. Two moral perspectives clash, and reader is trapped between them.. This is a book that doesn't reveal its philosophy in a take it or leave it manner. The narrator has human flaws, but they led me to sympathize with him rather than condemn him. I love books which create empathy like this one does.
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#1 bestselling author in sea adventures, Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author whose page-turning fiction weaves the real with the surreal, while also speaking to the human condition. He was hailed by New York Times bestselling author, William R. Forstchen, as "leaving readers so tantalized by the story lines, they think the events actually happened--a demonstration of skill surely to lau ...more

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