Book Review: Traders of the South Seas
Reviewed by Tavleen Kaur
An adventurous journey through dark waters and dire situations
Christoph is a high school senior who lives with his uncle Axelrod in Louisiana. Ever since his childhood, Christoph and his uncle have been going fishing at the crack of dawn. While Christoph enjoys this life of closeness to the sea and the bond with his uncle, he feels a sadness. His uncle doesn’t talk to him about his parents, and Chistoph can sense that he is hiding things from him.
During a fight with some of his schoolmates, he finds out that there’s something strange about the amulet he wears, an object which is his only connection to his parents. Then, his apprehensions come true when he is thrust into a world that he knows nothing about: Traders Terminal.
Christoph is a naive and confused boy at the start, but one of the strongest aspects of this YA fantasy is his character development. His personality doesn’t change overnight when he’s thrust into an unknown world. He gradually strengthens his will and is dedicated to do the best of what is destined for him. He also handles things well emotionally, given how suddenly he is separated from his home. Teenage readers are going to really appreciate his realistic character growth here.
The business and trading element give this book a contemporary feel. With so many fantasy novels separate from the modern world, it’s refreshing to feel so at home in the time of the novel.
Tensions mount as we come closer and closer to the “Trials,” a series of challenges in the span of 24 hours that Christoph has to go through. This gives us so much to look forward to, hoping that this in some way will give us the answers about his amulet, his uncle, his history, and his destiny.
Despite starting off a bit slow with a lot of backstory, it picks up steam heading into the middle as things reach intense and dangerous levels for Christoph. Traders of the South Seas does depend on more telling than showing, and there are too many scenes of low or no tension regarding uncovering the mysteries.
This story may be about fighting enemies and uncovering secrets in a dark realm, but at its heart, it’s a tale about a young man discovering the truths about himself. It is a character-driven fantasy with solid worldbuilding and a true hero’s adventure. YA fantasy readers who enjoy the languid pace of longer books may just find what they’re looking for in Traders of the South Seas.
Publisher: Charis Publishing
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
Print Length: 301 pages
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