Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Book Review: Song of the Deep by Brian Hastings

Pros: great female protagonist, fast paced, variety of challenges, illustrations

Cons: too short! (though not for the intended age group), inaccurate science

When Merryn’s father doesn’t return from his day’s fishing in a storm, she builds a submarine and goes looking for him.

This is a middle grade book, designed for ages 8-12, though it’s suitable for those outside that range as well (there are a few scary bits, but nothing 6 year olds couldn’t handle, and the short chapters make for good bedtime reading).  While the science isn’t accurate, I was impressed that the author mentioned some of the challenges of working and using a submarine (like what to do for air).  

Merryn’s a highly motivated character.  She doubts herself a few times, wondering if her quest is futile, but forces herself to keep searching regardless.  Along the way she encounters some fantastical sea creatures and faces several types of dangers.  I also appreciated that there was no physical description of her.

The story’s well paced, with a variety of challenges for Merryn to overcome, some using her wits and others her mechanical know how.

There’s black and white artwork throughout the book, illustrating some of the wonders Merryn encounters.

This book is a tie-in to the video game of the same name, which follows Merryn’s quest.  The author wanted media his daughter could appreciate that focused on attributes outside of looks.  And he’s succeeded as far as this book is concerned.

As an adult I found the book an entertaining, quick read.  I’m sure kids are going to love this.

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