The Forbidden Island (Explorer Academy 7)

The Forbidden Island (Explorer Academy 7)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 04, 2022
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Amid assignments that take the Explorer Academy recruits from the iceberg-filled waters of Antarctica to the bone-dry deserts of Argentina, Cruz Coronado is scrambling to complete the last piece of the cipher. With Nebula agents and the elusive explorer spy still out there, his opportunity to recover his mother’s world-changing formula is slipping away. But as Cruz has learned from his time aboard Orion, true explorers must never give up.

Even after completing dozens of high-risk missions and traveling to all seven continents, Cruz could never prepare himself for one ultimate surprise.

Editor review

1 review
The race to find a world-changing serum.
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Each book in the series focuses on an actual, real-world environmental or historical issue. Geographic and scientific information are blended into the plot to enhance descriptions of the setting and scenarios. The plot begins in Antarctica where the temperatures are dangerously cold and the sun is above the horizon for only a few hours each day. The Cousteau team of Explorers must collect and record observations of wildlife that includes penguins and whales. Later, they travel to Argentina where they’ll search for ancient dinosaur fossils. Finally, the Explorers are headed to Hawaii where more mysteries and dangers await. The author reveals a huge surprise during the book’s climax. The final pages of the book after the story provide non-fiction information about some of the locations and findings mentioned in the plot.
Nebula continues to be the major antagonist as they compete with the Explorers to discover a serum that can cure any illness. If discovered, it will make the need for all other medicines and drugs in the world obsolete so pharmaceutical companies will no longer be needed. Spies have infiltrated the academy which poses problems and dangers for Cruz and his best friend Emmett. Emmett has been posing as one of the spies named Jaguar but the boys still don’t know the identity of the actual spy. The characters know this person is on their exploring vessel, the Orion, but they don’t have a clue if they’re looking for a boy or girl, friend or acquaintance. Everyone is suspect so tensions are high. The real Jaguar stole the seventh piece of an eight-piece cipher in the last book and Cruz and his friends can’t collect the last two messages without it. Cryptic clues provide the characters and readers with puzzles that must be solved that will eventually lead to the location of the world-changing serum.
The book is science fiction so a myriad of innovative inventions adds creativity to the plot. Cruz has a drone disguised as a small bee that is often used for reconnaissance, guard duty, and defense. The Explorers’ suits protect them from extreme environmental challenges and Emmett’s glasses change colors to reflect his mood. Black stones holding pieces of the cipher activate interactive holograms allowing Cruz’s deceased mother to communicate additional clues. Biometrics are used to unlock doors and Cruz’s childhood friend invents an “impossible” form of communication. All of the gadgets are based on actual science so they’re plausibly believable.
What didn’t work as well:
Readers need to read the previous editions in the series to understand the backstory and characters in this book. The author doesn’t put much effort into recounting previous events so readers will probably be confused about things that are happening especially the role of Nebula in the plot. The story can be fully enjoyed if readers understand the overall situation. The synopsis accompanying the post indicates this book ends the series but the plot’s resolution leaves the door open for more.
The Final Verdict:
The overall series is imaginatively entertaining and should be enjoyed by lovers of mysteries, adventure, and science. The relationships between characters and elements of espionage enhance the story and I highly recommend you give it a shot.
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