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Month in review

Reviews
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story by P.D. Eastman
The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle
By Motor to the Golden Gate by Emily Post
Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack
Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper
Demon, Volume 3 by Jason Shiga
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
The Fog by Kyo Maclear
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon
Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
Once Upon a Thriller by Carolyn Keene
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers by Harold Davis
Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Say No to Murder by Nancy Pickard
Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Stone Warriors by Michael Northrop
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Under the Dragon's Tail by Maureen Jennings
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 30)
September 2017 Sources
September 2017 Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Race to the Bottom of the Sea: 10/14/17

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar is the next book by the author of Hour of the Bees. This one is set on the high seas and is an odd combination of marine science, piracy, and perhaps steampunk in Jules Verne meets Jacques Cousteau sort of way.

Eleven year old Fidelia Quail is on track to be the next great marine scientist and engineer, just like her parents: the Drs. Quail. All of that is wrenched from her when they are killed in a freak accident brought on by the return of the Undertow, a seasonal influx of waves that make the harbor around Arborley (which I imagined as Passamaquoddy — minus Eliot, of course).

The first few chapters build one set of expectations (though the cover art hints at a better, more accurate one) of when this book is taking place. The Quails have a submarine called the Egg and a research vessel called the Platypus. They have radio communication between the two. But months after her parents' deaths, Fiedlia is kidnapped by Merrick the pirate and taken down to the tropics where she is to use one of her inventions to recover his treasure.

Radio as we know it really got started in the early 1900s with the first transatlantic communication service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Clifden, Ireland in 1907. Submarines as we know them were also being commissioned in the early 1900s. But by 1850, piracy — the type described herein — was done.

Anachronistic pirates aren't a new thing in children's literature. It's just been a while. The last bunch of pirates I recall in a book of similar length are from the Pippi Longstocking series. She was of course, the Pirate King's daughter. I just wasn't expecting them here because of all the marine science and engineering.

All that said about my confusion, I think this novel would translate well to the big screen. I want to see Fidelia's steampunk inventions. I want to see Arborley which may as well be Glace Bay.

I want to see the animals and plants that Fidelia and her parents have discovered and that she continues to discover throughout the book. I want to see the withering effects of the red daisy pollen. I want to see Fidelia try and fail and try again with her inventions until she builds a working prototype. All of these things would translate well to the big screen — or even to the small screen as a Netflix series.

Four stars

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