The Skeleton Coast (Quest of the Sunfish #3)

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Mardi McConnochie, The Skeleton Coast (Quest of the Sunfish #3),  Allen & Unwin,  1 Sept 2017,  320pp.,  $14.99 (pbk),  ISBN: 9781760290931

This is the final book in the Quest of the Sunfish trilogy, which follows twins Annalie and Will and their friends Essie and Pod. The twins are on board the Sunfish seeking out their father, Spinner, who is on the run from the militant and fearsome Admiralty. They encounter pirates, new friends, and help from unlikely quarters, eventually heading towards the mysterious Skeleton Coast.

McConnochie has created a dynamic and believable world, which she plunges the reader straight into from the beginning. There are engaging and wonderfully likeable characters, both the main four teenagers and the supporting cast, such as the grumpy parrot Graham, and the wild former slave, Blossom. The plot rockets along, with many delightfully scary moments – McConnochie knows just when to put the characters in enough danger that the reader will desperately want them to be ok, and enough fun and adventure that it doesn’t overwhelm the story.

Teachers could easily recommend this book, and indeed this trilogy, to readers of all kinds – those who have previously enjoyed other adventure stories, but also those attracted to books about friendship and family, themes that McConnochie skilfully draws out. The overarching theme of environmental destruction and catastrophe could be discussed, and students could plan their own adventure stories using these themes.

Reviewed by Madeleine Crofts

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