Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Mardi McConnochie
Publisher: Pajama Press Inc.
Twins Will and Annalie find that their father has disappeared. Will was with his father and Annalie was at school when strangers raided their home and tried to get their father. Will escaped out the back and when he came back later, his father had disappeared. It becomes obvious that the Admiralty is trying to find something in their house. Annalie flees school along with her friend Essie. They eventually link back with Will and set out on a journey to find and help their father. They sail across the sea, using all the skills their father taught them earlier. They encounter pirates, fierce storms, and unfriendly shores. Throughout their adventures they try to figure out what everyone is looking for and what their father has done that makes him a fugitive.
The story overall is gripping, and the pace of the book makes you want to keep reading. However, there are several flaws. The kids in the story perform amazing feats, such as stealing their dad's boat back from the impound lot, outrunning boats that are equipped with engines where they aren't, and escaping people with weapons where they have none. There is not really a believable premise and seems a little improbable and quite unbelievable. The book has a few cases of bad language. While this would not phase us in certain characters, having the language appear only sporadically and out of the mouths of the children seems contrived and very unnecessary. The biggest problem with the book is that it doesn't come to a conclusion. The characters do not find the dad and nothing comes out right: the father is still a fugitive and the children are now fugitives also. It seems like a clear opening for a sequel to follow, but leaves the reader unhappy and unsatisfied.
*Contains mild language.