Middle Grade on Monday: Shadowsea (Cogheart Adventures #4) – Peter Bunzl

shadowsea

Swept into the bright hustle and bustle of New York, Lily, Robert and Malkin discover shadowy secrets lie beneath its surface. For there are chilling goings-on in their hotel…

A strange boy held captive, haunted by an undersea mystery; and a revengeful villain with a treacherous plan. Searching for clues, Robert and Lily are plunged into deep water… But can they reveal the deadly truth before the secrets submerge them?
I thought this series was finished after book 3. So I was ever so happy when I found out about this book, and even happier when The Husband found it for me on the airport in Johannesburg for very cheap, with amazingly green sprayed edges. And then I really enjoyed the book as well.

This is a Victorian, steampunk, middle grade series. So all of my favourites really. We follow Lilly, Robert and Malkin, and this time they travel to New York to spent New Year’s eve with Robert’s mother and sister. In the hotel they meet Dane who asks them for help. This mystery leads them to uncover the mystery of the Shadowsea Underwater Base, and the research Dane’s aunt does in bringing things back to life. Yes, we are dealing with zombies in this book…

This is a very bittersweet story. Dane has lost his parents, and this book focuses a lot on how to deal with that. Lilly and Robert have both lost a parent as well, so they are able to guide Dane fairly well on this journey. Although a great friendship is formed, there are still plenty of sad moments, and feelings of guilt for being the one who was saved. All of this has been handled very well.

I loved the new setting, and that we are joined by Robert’s sister on this adventure. Kid Wink is a great character as well, and I really liked when one of her primary concerns was getting the police involved and warning Lilly and Robert’s parents. The underwater scenes were great, and I adored the scuba diving trip. Also, zombies. Jeey.

But for some reason I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the previous ones, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. I flew through the first 100 pages, and was kinda sad that I got to go back to work after two months of lockdown. But then it the plot became very predictable, and the mystery not all that mysterious, and it started to drag a bit.

So I am gathering this is the actual end of the series, and it makes me sad. For one, because I want more. But I also felt that Skycircus had a better conclusion. Our heroes have just arrived in America, and I feel it would be a great start a new part of the series. But alas, this is where we have to say goodbye to Lilly, Robert and Malkin. It was a really fun read I hugely enjoyed.

 

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