THE CASTLE IN THE SEA

Book Cover

Will and Annalie continue the search
for their dad in the middle installment of an Australian eco-thriller trilogy (The Flooded Earth, 2018).

Ever since their father, Spinner,
disappeared, the 12-year-old twins have been seeking him out on the ocean. Society
is rebuilding since the Flood that broke the planet (not quite our world but
one that’s overwhelmingly familiar), but it still seems torn between the
despotic Admiralty on the one side and criminal pirates and gangs on the other.
Out on the Sunfish, Will and Annalie have nobody but each other and
their dearest friends: rich girl Essie, undocumented former slave Pod, and
Spinner’s cybernetically enhanced parrot, Graham. While they quest for Spinner
and his research into geo-engineering the Flood, the children avoid the wicked
forces of the Admiralty and survive all manner of adventures: a storm at sea,
stranding on a deserted island, capture by pirates, arrest by immigration
officers, and having to eat some pretty gross bugs. The eponymous castle in the
sea plays a startlingly small role but leaves unanswered questions, hopefully
to be addressed in the conclusion. The perils are all excitingly perilous, but
they are also relatively nonterrifying; in a dark and malicious world, the
levels of danger feel more exciting than dreadful. The characters are racially
ambiguous, with names and origin stories that imply some diversity of
background.

A post-apocalyptic disaster story
with the cozy feel of Swallows and Amazons. (Science fiction. 10-12)

kirkusreviews.com

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