This is the first of two books in The Monster Odyssey series which begins in 1810. The young Prince Dakkar, heir to an Indian kingdom, has been sent to England to be placed under the care of Count Oginski, a friend of his father’s and a gifted inventor. Dakkar, a rebellious and spirited child, has run away from the best schools and so it is Oginski who must teach him how to be a resourceful and compassionate leader of his people.
The Eye of Neptune has all the requisite ingredients for a rip-roaring, page-turning adventure, rather like an adolescent James Bond story. There are, of course, spies and counter-spies, intent on capturing Oginski’s invention – the remarkable submersible, the Makara. When Oginski is captured by men – and sea-monsters – working for the evil Cryptos, in his attempt to take over the world, it is Dakkar who goes to his rescue. Along the way he acquires a feisty girl companion, the redoubtable Georgia, who proves herself the equal of all her male counterparts.
Throw in pirates, murderous giant squids, kidnap and cliff hangers aplenty and there is much to keep young readers of both sexes immersed in the story. There is a strong moral thread woven through the narrative, too – betrayal cannot be countenanced and oppressed creatures must be freed in order for the world to be a better place. This volume will hook in readers eager for the second in the series, published next year.