Review Detail

Everyone has secrets
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Remaine is an endearing, underdog character as he always performs below family expectations. For generations, they’ve been diving for rare fish that are cooked with their secret sauce. However, Remaine always catches fewer fish than his older sister but that’s partly because he spends so much time alone in a secret underwater cave. He dreams of exciting adventures like the legendary Great Mariner but his real life tells a much different story. Then, he fails The Great Charming: not receiving the magic, not breathing out the Old Cold, not catching a fish during the Dive that will define his life. Remaine hastily decides it’s time for a drastic change. This decision leads him into the middle of an exciting adventure that will eventually reveal an incredible, terrifying scheme.
The plot takes a huge turn halfway into the book with a new setting and some characters showing hidden sides and secrets. Remaine is thrown into a major conflict involving the prince although the details aren’t immediately known. New information forces Remaine to question what he’s been told so far and he realizes his life is in danger. He’s protected by the characters but there’s still a sense that something’s off. Readers are forced to reconsider their own thinking in trying to understand what’s actually happening. This mental mystery concerning the truth will engage readers’ minds and keep them speculating about what’s to come.
Remaine is an enigma as there are questions and mysteries about his character waiting to be told. His family thinks his daydreams are a problem but Remaine’s cave drawings may be more important than he realizes. A prophecy is revealed that may, or may not, be talking about Remaine and his key role in Cracklemore’s future. The prince speaks of Remaine’s potential and his ability to see other worlds but Remaine still has doubts about his importance. Readers will wonder if he has other abilities and powers that have yet to emerge.
What didn’t work as well:
The plot can’t be described as fast-paced due to the abundant description of settings, characters, and events. This style allows readers to fully visualize the story but it may make them antsy. The second half of the book has more action and suspense so it’s worth it for readers to persevere.
The final verdict:
This book is best for upper middle-grade readers with the patience and thinking skills to take on a more challenging narrative. The first third of the book requires mental stamina due to the slow pace but the action and intrigue pick up once Remaine is taken from the prince. Overall, this imaginative adventure will appeal to fantasy lovers and I recommend you give it a shot.
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