A very interesting and unusual novel, and MacLennan's first (--which seems astounding, given its stylistic sophistication). The plot is intricate and suspenseful, and three of the four main characters are portrayed as fully conscious, focused beings, who are either aware of their own motives and values, or keenly interested in identifying them; the fourth character, Geoffrey Wain, exhibits a distinctly opposite mentality, and proves--therefore--to be a villainous threat to each of the others. Nautical engineer Penny Wain, Geoffrey's daughter, is a true rarity in modern literature: an intelligent, introspective, rational heroine. MacLennan's descriptive passages are typically colorful and dramatic, and often warrant immediate (and subsequent) re-reading (even though some do seem a bit drawn-out, on first reading). The much-heralded explosion is not, for my money, quite as interesting or dramatic as other parts of the plot, so the reader shouldn't "wait for" that: the first three-quarters of the book is the main course; and the last quarter, a light dessert. Overall, MacLennan has given us a banquet to savor.