Sea is Sarah Driver’s debut novel and it’s packed full of adventure. Readers 9+ will love this quest!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 6700 KB
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Egmont (6 April 2017)
In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.
Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .
Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure.
For fans of Philip Pullman, Piers Torday, Katherine Rundell and Frances Hardinge.
The story opens with a tense attack on the Huntress from the feared Terrodyls and with Mouse disobeying the captain’s orders (who also happens to be her grandma) to stay below decks, we get the first glimpse of how feisty and strong-willed she is.
Docking at Haggle’s Town port to repair the ship, a new member joins the crew. Stag is from their tribe but hasn’t been seen for 20 years. He brings news that rocks Mouse and Sparrow’s world and it soon becomes clear the real reason he’s re-joining the crew.
Runes reveal the quest Mouse must go on to reunite the Storm-Opals to save Trianukka which of course won’t be easy pitted against Stag. The adventure that follows is full of magic, fear and breathtaking obstacles Mouse must win through which will engage middle grade readers.
The world building in Sea is fabulous. There are tribes with their own morals and purpose, magical skills (I loved Sparrow’s gift of communicating with the whales with his whalesong) and myths/legends … I was reminded of Moby Dick/Jonah and the Whale. The sea folk tribe have an awesome relationship and understanding of what lies beneath the sea with a link to the environment and ecology.
By the end of this first book, 13yo Mouse is just beginning to understand and use her gift of beast-chatter. I’m hoping she will respect that power … she is a strong female lead with plenty of fire and spirit but she doesn’t have much respect for anything, riding roughshod over everyone. There is a glimmer of working as a team at the end of the story, of considering others, so hopefully this will grow in the second book (Sky) and she will become a more likeable character.
Sea is action packed with scenes that are tense and testing. It’s fast paced with non-stop conflict and I found it a quick read. No matter your age you will identify with the characters and engage with the story. I have no doubt that young readers’ will love Sarah Driver’s debut and be excited about the next book in the trilogy!
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