Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Philip Pullman
Illustrator: Fred Fordham
Serena is a teenager that is traveling the world by boat with her family when a sudden storm sends her overboard. She is rescued by John Blake and finds herself stuck on a time-traveling ghost ship with John and the rest of the crew. As Serena becomes more acquainted with the men on the boat, she learns the story behind how they came to be. She also learns about Carlos Dahlberg and the threat he and his technology pose to them and the rest of the world. With some help, John and the crew are able to thwart Dahlberg’s plans, while in one last desperate attempt to end his enemy, Dahlberg destroys his own corporation.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, both are masterfully combined in this comic-style book to tell the story of Serena and John Blake. The format and illustrations were done in a way that the reader feels as though they are watching a movie. The action-packed scenes give the reader a sense of motion throughout the story. John Blake’s character and that of his crew’s are set up as direct opposites to Dahlberg. Although John’s crew is at a disadvantage as far as size and strength goes, it is their friendship and similar beliefs that help them overcome their adversary in the end. Through this, readers can see the outcome one person or a small group of people can have. This can build the reader’s own personal confidence when it comes to standing alone for something good that they believe in.
*Contains mild language and moderate violence.