ARC Review: The Fires Beneath the Sea


Title: The Fires Beneath the Sea
Author: Lydia Millet
Genre: YA/Junior Fiction Fantasy
Publisher: Small Beer Press
Page Count: 248


This was a truly fascinating and unique read. There was plenty of action, and adventure, for it being a middle grade kids book. Lydia Millet definitely knows how to draw a reader into an entirely new world, filled with monsters in the form of water, sunken pirate ships, and a war that’s been going on for a long, long time.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Cara, Max, and Jackson-who can read minds, and is incredibly smart for a kid his age-are missing their mother, who seems to have left without a trace, leaving only behind a note for her family: I cannot stay, danger. Danger for whom? Cara misses her mother, and tries to be normal, even when things that aren’t normal happen around them-like her little brother talking to turtles, and otters appearing where they shouldn’t.
This book has all my favorite things meshed together, and I especially liked the scenes with the sunken pirate ship, and Max with his truck. There are all kinds of good things to find in this book, and I’ll say that the only bad thing was the terrible cliffhanger at the end, where the author leaves you wanting more.
This book will likely hit home for fans of “The Dark is Rising” by Susan Cooper, and “Deep Waters?” by Diane Duane, even ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeline E’Lengle. It’s got the same elements, the same kind of theme-kids saving the world, kids keeping their family together while battling dark forces. It’s a good trope, and one of my favorite kinds-especially when done right. This book is going to be right along with those books on my shelves at home. I really love how this book turned out, despite that wicked cliffhanger. Cara is someone that I emphasized with, and identified with as well. Jackson, and Max, both were also kids that I could understand, and even feel for at times. Everyone had a role to play in the book, even their dog Rufus who got his own impressive scene towards the end.
I commend the author for a really very lovely read, one that I will likely remember long after I’ve finished reading it.
Five stars!

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