book review,  Books

Captain Fin by Amanda M Thrasher – Book Review


based on a screenplay by Kevin James O’Neill

 Genre: Young Adult / Adventure / Family
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 432

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Hannah Gunner, once a carefree child, is faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal. A life-changing event during her adolescent years forces her to confront a past that she no longer recognizes. Now, questioning everything she thought she knew, Hannah struggles with the person she is supposed to be! With the help of her boyfriend and her closest friend, they discover several clues that may hold the missing links to her life.

A tattered box filled with worn-out letters holds some of the answers that she needs, but not all of them. With an assist from her aunt, and a visitor from her past, Hannah manages to track down the only person in the world who can answer her questions—the Captain! But why did those closest to her lie in the first place? Will Hannah ever find the answers that she needs to bring her peace? 

Suspenseful, engaging, and with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down, this is a book filled with surprises.


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Captain Fin

Captain Fin is the story of Hannah Gunner’s life after a tragic event hits her family, of how one lie can spiral out of control, and of how that lie is unwound and rectified. It’s a story about how a father’s memory helps a young girl cope with change and challenges as she grows up.

Confession time: I *might* have had a few doubts about a novel based on a screenplay – after all, we all know the book is better than the movie, so what happens when the screenplay comes first? Well, Amanda M Thrasher quickly cast away any doubts I might have about this scenario as Captain Fin was an incredible example of storytelling. Her writing quickly drew me into the story and I was lost to everything else outside – it was so engaging, I read this book in one day.

I also don’t believe that the synopsis does the story the justice it deserves. This is a quiet book whose plot slowly unfolds. The characters are layered, real and relatable, and the storytelling is emotional and beautiful. It really wrapped itself around my heart and tugged hard.

Why hadn’t the Captain come home already, thought Hannah, and dismissed this scallywag-turned-tyrant, so they could eat supper, and she could take her bath, and then she could go to Treasure Island with her dad before bed? No, that wasn’t right. She had meant she could go to Treasure Island with the Captain before bed! Where was the Captain, and why was her mom holding her so tightly? Why hadn’t the Captain come home? And where was her dad, anyway?

The pain of a father’s absence, frequent moves, and forced new starts drive a bright-eyed, happy little girl deep into herself, and it’s not until the final move back to their hometown that Hannah lets herself reach out to others. Thrasher captures the teenaged Hannah and really fleshes out her character. This is a truly moving story that ultimately triumphs, but not before she puts your heart through the wringer! I found myself crying at home as Hannah faces a devastating moment, and later at the hair salon as the story moved in a direction I hadn’t anticipated (those were tears of relief and joy!) If you can bring me to tears, you’ve done your job well, so well done, Ms. Thrasher. I suppose I should put a mascara warning on my 4-star review!

Captain Fin
is written for a YA audience but fares well for adult readers also. What a delight this book is – a lovely summer read for anyone.


Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas, and resides there still. Amanda has authored picture books, middle-grade chapter books, early readers, young adult pieces, and a graphic novel written specifically for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. 

Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) for YA, General Fiction, and early reader chapter books, a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award winner for YA Social Issues, an NTBF winner for YA and General Fiction, and she was awarded a New Apple Literary Award for YA and general fiction.

As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists other authors with their work and shares her writing process and publishing experience with them. Her latest release, CAPTAIN FIN, was based on a contract to adapt a screenplay into a novel for the director, actor, and producer Kevin James O’Neill. Her works-in-progress are the sequel to CAPTAIN FIN and the fourth installment of her Mischief Series.





TWO WINNERS: Signed Copies of Captain Fin + $25 Starbucks Gift Cards
THREE WINNERS: Signed Copies of Captain Fin
June 4-14, 2019
(U.S. Only)

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