by Geoff Rodkey
G. P. Putnam’s Sons 4/03/2014
an imprint of Penguin Group
Age 8 to 12 376 pages
“After narrowly escaping the New Lands, Egg is determined to take down ruthless slave trader Roger Pembroke. But war is brewing among the Blue Sea’s pirate gangs—and Egg, Guts, and Kira are running out of time to find the Fire King’s treasure and free the Okalu slaves from the silver mine on Sunrise. Can they save Kira’s people before Sunrise is plundered by Ripper Jones’s pirates? Will Burn Healy save the day, or has the legendary captain finally met his match? And will Egg ever win back Millicent from the annoyingly handsome Cyril?
“This explosive conclusion to Egg’s journey delivers the ultimate combination of humor, heart, and white-knuckle adventure.”
“Burn Healy’s pirate ship was sinking. And we were on it.”
Blue Sea Burning, the third and final installment of The Chronicle of Egg begins where book 2 ended. Roger Pembroke had raided Pella Nonna, making himself governor. His first official act involved Egg and a noose. The people gathered, the “new” army gathered, and Pembroke gave his first official speech justifying why he should, no, why it is imperative that this child should die, despite the mercy to children law everyone, including pirates, followed.
Burn Healy walked up and, using the same law, saved Egg. Egg and his “new” Uncle Burn walk the gangway together onto Healy’s ship. Heading to Deadweather Island for much needed repairs, a little R & R, and dropping off the reformed Adonis. He had plans to take over the ugly fruit plantation—with Egg’s help, but Egg found himself sidetracked and back on the Grift with Guts, Kira, and Quint, the plantation cook, now the ship’s carpenter.
Egg still wants to take down Pembroke and get back into Millicent’s life. Kira wants to avenge her tribe’s devastation and take down Pembroke. Guts, he wants to go wherever Kira goes, and take down Pembroke. Burn Healy wants to fix his ship, appease his crew, avoid Li Homaya and Ripper Jones—both are out to get him. Aboard the Grift, they all took off for Sunrise Island, where Healy will withdraw his ten million and appease his crew. Of course, things do not always go as planned for Egg and those around him. It was time Egg, Guts, and Kira had some good luck, but will they?
I was so thrilled to find Egg on my doorstep. Who would have thunk that one day I would say this and mean it? I loved the first two books and could not wait for the final instalment. Just like the first two, there is action to keep you on the edge of your seat. There are a few “aw” moments when things finally take a turn for the better. The journey is a gloriously long one, which I wish had not ended . . . at least not the way it did. I found it disappointing after all that Egg had been through, but happy endings are not required in middle grade novels. Oh, wait, they really are. Truth is[SM1] , the ending is happy, just not the happy I wanted to read. But, no spoilers here. I can’t say what I didn’t like about the ending, though I wish I could. So, after you read Blue Sea Burning, please send me an email, let me know what you thought and I will reveal what I thought that I wouldn’t say now. I wonder whether there might be a fourth book, or maybe a new tale. One can hope.
Not read book 1 or 2? Want to skip to the third? It’s possible. Egg, a wonderful narrator, fills in enough background that you can read book 3 first and enjoy it. I think you’ll then go to book 1 and 2 then possibly repeat book 3. I don’t recommend it, but it is your choice. However, you want to read the series is up to you, but read it. If you like pirates, those sneaky, sleazy, scoundrels, you will enjoy The Chronicle of Egg. Throw in a secret source of power and greed, and the men who want it more than anything else, and you get a dystopian world that is not far from reality.
There is violence but nothing gruesome or highly detailed that I would not allow a boy, or girl, age 8 read the series. Rodkey knows how to write for middle graders and make it riveting for all levels of reading and maturity. It is difficult at times to believe this is Rodkey’s debut, which he calls a “comedy-adventure.” His world is believable and not far from the lay of the land here. Could this have been how the world once worked? Book 1 is an easier read than 2, and 2 easier than 3, as I think it should be. Kids change a lot from age 8 to 12, as do their reading abilities The Chronicle of Egg grows with them.
If you like good ole’ pirate action, from the pirates and non-pirates, family relationships that grow, and a happy ending (that may or may not lead to a new book), you will love The Chronicle of Egg. The characters will grow on you and you will miss them between books. There are no illustrations—wouldn’t those have been so cool!—but you will see nearly everything in your mind’s eye. It is hard not to see, and sometimes feel, the action. The best thing to hope for, after finishing the series, is a big production movie. I don’t know if the series has been optioned, but The Chronicle of Egg would make a great grand movie. Until then, enjoy your time at sea, at Deadweather Island, at Sunrise, and all the lands in between. Finally, keep your eyes and ears open, I hear tell there are pirates on the loose.
THE CHRONICLE OF EGG, BOOK 3: BLUE SEA BURNING. Text copyright © 2014 by Geoff Rodkey. Reviewed by permission of the publisher, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, NY.
Learn more about The Chronicle of Egg HERE.
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