Book Review: Kakadu Sunset by Annie Seaton

It’s taken me a while to write and publish this review. I’ve been sitting on it for some reason. I think it’s because Kakadu Sunset by Annie Seaton is quite outside my comfort zone. At least, these days it is. A long time ago I worked for a certain well-known romance publisher, and I read so much romance back then I was quite burnt out after I left. Then Annie herself completely won me over in the interview she did with us a while back. She writes passionately about environmental issues and is a wonderful advocate for the Australian landscape.

Kakadu Sunset was, frankly, more than I expected. I expected a light holiday read. And it was. I expected a fast-paced plot. And there was. I expected romance and what-do-you-know, there was.

Most romance novels are also very character-driven, and this one was too, but there was a depth to the plot I wasn’t expecting. Annie manages to deftly include environmental issues like mining and sustainability in a way that doesn’t try to teach, but still addresses the issues around owning large stretches of land in a country where land is sought and bought for the riches that lie beneath. These issues were woven into the story as a natural part of the plot-line, and I came out with a better understanding of fracking and its impact on the environment.

The main character, Ellie, is a helicopter pilot who flies tourists over the spectacular Kakadu National Park. She loves her job, and her simple life living on the tourist resort. When she flies over her old family property and sees deep gouges in the land her family had loved, she is horrified and curious. Who has been digging so close to protected land? So starts a journey that puts her in great danger, a danger born of human greed and the depths some will sink to in seeking wealth.

Along the way, Ellie meets Kane, a sullen co-pilot and ex-soldier who is dealing with some pretty hefty post-traumatic stress. This is another issue prevalent in our society today, and while Annie really only skims the surface of the psychological damage done to soldiers, it was interesting to read about a male character with a level of vulnerability. We all come into a relationship with baggage; for some it’s closer to the surface than for others.

While Kakadu Sunset is long-form romance, it’s a quick, light read and a great example of the genre, which is why it’s been shortlisted for the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romance Book of the Year 2016.

After reading this book, I will be happy to pick up another Australian romance every once in a while. I’ve realised that they’re great for when life is moving a little too quickly, and you want a break from the heavier, more literary novels (which I did at the time), or if you’re planning to lie by the beach for a while (and if you are I’m completely jealous). So I’m grateful to Annie for that.

Amanda x

We received a copy of Kakadu Sunset to review from Annie. Thanks Annie!


10 Quick Questions for Author Annie Seaton

Recently we asked author Annie Seaton 10 quick questions about her life as a writer. Annie lives near the beach on the east coast of Australia (lucky thing!) and is passionate about the Australian environment. This is evident in her latest book, Kakadu Sunset, a contemporary romance set in the beautiful Kakadu National Park.

We are so grateful to Annie for being our first author chat here at SR! We love hearing from anyone who loves books as much as we do, and who better to ask than someone who writes them?

When did you realise you wanted to write books?

My earliest memory is when my mother took me to a library when I was four! I wrote my first book when I was eleven.

How extensively do you plan your novels?

I don’t. I have an idea and setting, then my characters develop and the action happens! I call myself an organic writer.

Where do you write and when?

I write weekdays from 7.30 am till 3pm…and occasionally on weekends if there is nothing else happening.

What were your favourite books growing up?

Anne of Green Gables, and the Famous Five!

What are you reading and want to recommend at the moment?

Jenn J McLeod…The Other Side of the Season

What do you like to do when you’re not writing (or reading)?

I walk the beach with our dog and spend time in my garden.

Are you working on another book at the moment? What can you tell us about it?

I am currently in edits for Book 2 of the Porter Sisters series: Daintree Sunrise, and am also a third of the way through writing Book 3, Kimberley Moonlight. I am loving Kimberley Moonlight, the setting is glorious!

An obsessed worker, I am also writing a paranormal suspense called The Green Trees, and a light contemporary about an editor!

You write beautifully about the Australian landscape, what is it that you love about it? 

I guess it is because we live in such a beautiful country with diverse landscapes from tropical beaches to isolated deserts, to urban landscapes. We have so many places to visit to have different experiences all in our own land.

What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Be passionate and determined, and you will succeed.

And, of course we couldn’t resist asking you about libraries! You seem very passionate about them (we are too!) and once moonlighted as an Academic Research Librarian. What is it that you love about libraries?

No moonlighting there … being a librarian was my dream career and I did it for twenty years before I became a teacher. I hold a postgraduate degree in Library Science too.

Thanks so much Annie! We really loved getting a glimpse into your life as a writer and wish you all success with the new novels you are working on.

Kakadu Sunset is published by Pan Macmillan and you can find out more about Annie from her website and on Twitter @annieseaton26