Shipwreck Island- Struan Murray
Orphans of the Tide was one of my favourite books of last year, and so I was very excited to receive a copy of this from Puffin Books to review (#gifted, thank you!)
I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint...
There will be no spoilers here, but suffice to say, it continues the adventure of Ellie and Seth from the first book, and, unlike some other sequels, I think this one requires the reader to have read book 1, or risk being lost in references to Vessels and the Enemy, the Inquisition and other events that are mentioned.
In Shipwreck, we see a more mature and thoughtful Ellie, obviously affected by events and still battling to keep the Enemy at bay. We see what I feel is a more circumspect and vulnerable Seth, coming to terms with who he is and the powers he commands, and the risk that puts him in from others.
We also meet a hilarious 12 year-old royalist pub landlord, a queen battling to find her place and her sense of self, and a power hungry politico, intent on using whatever means possible to seize control. The sinister menace of Hargarth also makes a return appearance...
The shocks and plot twists that made Orphans so enjoyable return...a whale close to the start is a throwback to that amazing opening to Orphans, and whales play a part later, too. We learn more about the back story of the characters and world that Struan Murray has created, and the Ellie and Seth story is interspersed with pages from an old diary, telling the story of Varu and the Vessel, and an Ark from the Drowning, eventually bringing both tales together in another dramatic ending leaving the way wide open for a thrilling book 3!
The questions and answers from Struan at the end of the book are a great insight into the story and the writing of it, and the book is again beautifully illustrated throughout with pictures by Manuel Sumberac.
A great continuation of the Orphans series, and (dare I say it!?) I felt it was even better than the first. Great stuff.
Struan Murray is on Twitter as @Struan_Murray, and Manuel Sumberac as @manuelsumberac
Puffin Books are on Twitter as @PuffinBooks and you can order this book through their website: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/312/312851/shipwreck-island/9780241384459.html