280p. Chronicle. Oct. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452131511.
Gr 9 Up—Indi and his three siblings are orphans. Alone on their tiny boat, Salgada, they sail the Mediterranean, killing sea monsters and hoping to avenge the mysterious death of their parents. Disillusioned with what he sees as a futile goal, Indi struggles between loyalty to his older sister, Beleza, and his desire to give up seafaring for a life on land. The story opens strongly with an action scene—slaughtering a morde d'eau off the coast of France. However, if readers are looking for a fast-paced action-packed book, this isn't it. Monsters are not the central aspect of the story; they are rarely described in any detail, and battles are short and often unimportant to the frequently meandering plot. The focus is on the characters. Beleza is the strong, determined captain of their ship, and Indi's primary concern is his younger siblings. Yet despite the care he provides, he seems to have very little trouble leaving them behind for his own dreams. This novel has an interesting atmosphere of historical fantasy—pirates and monster hunting—juxtaposed with the modern world of cell phones and cab rides. This could be jarring, but Moskowitz makes it work. Unfortunately, the ending feels too rushed.
VERDICT A secondary purchase for larger collections.

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