Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.
From the first chapter it was obvious this was at least the second book in a series though this was unclear on Goodreads. Anyway, the adventure follows cousins Emma and Scott and their friends as they are held captive on a dive boat, the Sea Urchin. A boat for tourists diving to explore the tropical waters, they were unmatched when pirates hold the crew and guests hostage in hopes of ransoming them back to their countries.
But after everything Emma and Scott have been through after being kidnapped, the cousins aren’t going to be easy victims. Together with the help of their friends they plan an escape and search for help.
This book was an adventure novel set in a world like ours but a few decades ago a radiation accident created a handful of mutants. Brock, one such mutant with gills, is friends with the cousins and it’s interesting that though there are mutations they are not common nor create superheroes like in x-men. Though everyone knows how Brock has gills they still stare and treat him as a freak. It’s probably a realistic representation of how mutants and their oddities would be handled in our world.
Since there were actual mutants in this world, I wasn’t sure if the ‘varanus dragon’ where fire-breathing dragons or giant normal lizards. Turns out ‘varanus’ is a part of the scientific name of the Komodo dragon which is what the dragon in the novel was.
Despite the unusual elements, this story is primarily about two kids trying to make it home and defeat the pirates. Though it did have a fair amount of action I still found it slow and the climax was resolved quickly without satisfaction. It seemed the easiest part of the entire novel. I didn’t enjoy this novel, partially because I’d unknowingly jumped into the middle of a series without a summary of previous books, and I don’t enjoy simple adventure books since I’m a fantasy and paranormal fan. I give it 2/5.