Dark Tide

Orca. (Orca Anchor). Aug. 2023. 96p. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459837119.
Gr 6 Up–When his mother got remarried, Kai didn’t like getting a new stepfather. To help the two bond, Kai’s mother insists that Kai join his stepfather, Rick, on a research trip. On a floating research lab, Rick is studying sound waves and underwater caves. When his first robot disappears, an ancient predator awakens and starts hunting them. With no cell phone reception, it is up to the duo to stop the creature. They only have until dawn, when the tide changes, before the creature is unleashed into the sea to prey on more people. Can they stop it in time or will it destroy them? The plot is engaging and hooks readers from start to finish. The characters are likable and realistic. The writing style is unique but easy to follow. Layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Plot twists and turns are intriguing and add depth to the short novel. Emotional resolution, however, is too quick to be believable. Characters’ ethnicity is not described. The book is written at a second grade level.
VERDICT Overall, a great read for reluctant readers who enjoy action, adventure, and books dealing with cryptids. Recommended for most library collections.

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