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Posted May 1, 2011
Historical YA Adventure for All Ages
In Across the Sea by Eric Marier, imaginative 12-year-old Francis Bright is swept away on an unbelievable journey that leads him straight to the legendary lost island of Atlantis. Marier's tale opens with an excerpt from a private journal that tells of Atlantis' fate, and the English captain Robert of Dreighton who is obsessed with finding the fabled Treasure of Atlantis. Years and years after Robert of Dreighton and his enemies had given up their search for the treasure, Francis finds himself caught in the middle of their continuing treasure hunt.
Several months ago, Francis' brother was pronounced "missing at sea" and no one in Francis' family has dared to even mention his name. When a prank in the old lighthouse puts Francis in the path of a man with a mysterious red cloak, Francis hides on board the man's vessel in search of answers. The red cloak is representative of the Brotherhood of Blood, the men responsible for Michael's disappearance. Francis has never given up hope that his brother lives. What Francis did not know was that this man had planned to capture Francis--because he is the key to unraveling the whereabouts of the Treasure of Atlantis.
Not only do I love the name Across the Sea, but I also love the idea of Atlantis. I have literally spent hours daydreaming about what the civilization, aesthetics, and the people might have been like. To a certain degree, Across the Sea has quenched some of my thirst for more literature to read on this fascinating subject. Though Atlantis is certainly an important factor in this YA historical novel, readers will become more involved in the lives of characters such as Francis Bright, Lily, and the mysterious Bodin. Bright and Bodin especially have compelling backstory; Lily, though a loyal companion to Francis Bright, doesn't have much history but has a clever mind that saves Bright in several impossible situations. I truly cared about each of these characters--even Bodin, who finds redemption near Across the Sea's conclusion.
Across the Sea drew me in completely at the beginning, but then lost me a little when all the warring captains and their ships were introduced. I found it difficult to keep everyone and their motives entirely straight; I wasn't sure who I should be rooting for. Swash-buckling scenes seemed to go on endlessly in the second quarter of the novel, and could probably have been shortened. This is a personal preference, though; other readers might find these scenes absolutely enthralling.
Across the Sea is a bit open-ended, and I really hope to see more adventures with Francis, Michael, and Bodin. The riddle of Atlantis seems to have reached its final chapter, but there are still other wonders of the world left to explore.
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Posted February 22, 2014
Posted July 20, 2013