Ocean's End is the second book I've read from this author. Welles shows a definite talent for creating rich worlds you're itching to explore, and this book demonstrates that. Dyne, the captain of the Pertinacious, suffers from an unusual curse placed on him by a sea goddess. Jessie has been chosen by the same goddess to cross paths with Dyne, though neither fully understands why. Together, they seek to end Dyne's curse but in a ruined world where life is hazardous under the best of circumstances, can they do so without losing the people they love?
Dyne is a very likable character and I enjoyed the running gag with the cheeseburger. His easy-going attitude matched with a paternal obligation to care for his crew makes him easy to identify and sympathize with. I will admit I struggled with Jessie. For a character that spent a year being repeatedly raped by Tethys' crew until she stowed away on Dyne's ship, her sexual attraction to Mido after two weeks made me uncomfortable. And since Jessie gets more pages devoted to sexy-time than any other character, there was a lot of narration that I ended up skipping.
As I mentioned before, it's world-creation where Welles shines the most. I liked the post-apocalyptic Earth that she created, though I would have liked to explore it much more: there were a lot of questions that never quite got answered. For example, why do the quasi-children punish those who own guns, but are fine with other weapons like swords? Why do they leave Dyne alone once they are chased off, even though they must know he still has the gun? Why is O'Toole able to chase them off: why does the combination of "related to a quasi-child" and "mentally handicapped" give him this power? Why does Dyne resist using the powers granted to him by his curse and why does the goddess keep trying to force him to use them?
Overall, I liked the book. The action-filled passages mixed with the character development kept things moving nicely.