Friday 27 July 2012

209. The Chronicles of Egg Book 1: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey

The Chronicles of Egg Book 1: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey
Published July 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

DEADWEATHER, a sweaty little pirate-infested island, is home to EGG, thirteen years old and prey to a pair of cruel and stupid older siblings.
But when Egg's family disappears in a freak accident, he finds himself living onSUNRISE island with the glamorous Pembroke family and their feisty daughter Millicent.  Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg is lost in a world of cutthroat pirates and powerful villains. Only Millicent - and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy - can help him as he hurtles into the deadliest adventure of his life . . .

The tag line on the back of the book, is that it’s a cross between Percy Jackson and Treasure Island, now what boy could possibly resist that!  I am a self confessed 'chooser of books by their covers', and even though this probably isn’t my genre of choice, I do like this cover.  I was also sucked in by the blurb, pirate infested island, family missing in freak accident, the glamorous Pembroke family and our main character being pushed off a cliff…all of this and I haven’t even opened the book!

As a reader you really connect with our main character Egbert (Egg) from the very beginning of the book, he is the youngest of three children, and his older siblings terrorise him constantly.  They live with their father on the Island of Deadweather, nobody lives there but the Masterson’s and an assortment of pirates.  The climate on Deadweather makes it an unpleasant choice for most as 11 months of the year it is brutally hot and humid, and the other month brings hurricanes. The three Masterson children (Egbert, Venus and Adonis)  live here with their father Hoke running a plantation of ugly fruit, their farm hands and house staff a mixed bag of pirates (missing various body parts).  There is no Mrs Masterson, but we find out early on what became of her.

The action really starts when the family go on an unexpected trip to the neighbouring island of Sunrise, where everything is beautiful (the scenery, the people) and it’s also where the silver mine is located, which has given Sunrise all of its wealth.  A chance meeting with local wealthy business man, Mr Pembroke sees the Mastersons paying a visit to the Pembroke estate.  A trip on a hot air balloon, which was supposed to be a birthday treat for Egg (he was of course shoved out by his loving siblings), is where we last see Mr Masterson, Venus and Adonis, as the balloon fails to be controlled and is carried away. They are gone...presumed dead.

With Eggs family out of the way Mr Pembroke seems extremely keen to keep Egg in close, so keen in fact that he wants to adopt him.  This is the first inkling Egg gets that something isn't quite right.  When Mr Pembroke's loyal friend Mr Birch tries to kill him, on Me Pembroke's orders...Egg knows he has to escape. Stowing away of the luxury cruise liner Earthly Pleasure is his only option, and that is fine until they get attacked by pirates, and Egg is made to fight to the death with the foul mouthed, one handed cabin boy called Gus.  Not wanting to die, or be killed, Egg tries to reason with Guts, to no avail...and then they are attacked.  Egg and Guts see no other choice but to jump over board and swim for the nearest island.

Here, Egg and Guts begin their journey to get back to Deadweather and see if they can find the treasure that Egg's father had supposedly discovered.  This of course won't be easy as the boys find themselves on a deserted Island, stowaway in cargo hold full of pigs, and end up on Sunrise where Egg does not want to be.  Another escape, this time with the help of Millicent, the boys once again get taken captive by pirates (nasty ones), only the to find that the so-called nastiest pirate of all Burn Healy, is not quite what he seems.  Finally back on Deadweather, the trio need to make the choice whether to fight Pembroke and his increasing army...or run.

This is the first book of what will be a new series, and the adventure is only just beginning in this book.  It is action packed and fast paced.  There is much implied swearing in this book, Guts being the main culprit, but the words are not written, like "Didn't say nuthin', you -------"  the readers are left to fill in the blanks themselves!

Who will like this book: Boys age 10+
Read it if you like: a rollicking adventure

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