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|Beast of Cretacea|
Author: Strasser, Todd
Reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future on a distant planet.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 181470
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 6 Up—Earth is dying, and its people are starving. There are no more crops because there is no more rain. Oceans are a myth of the past. Humanity's only hope for survival is resource mining and colonization of distant planets—planets like Cretacea. Hoping to earn enough wages to pay for his foster family to leave Earth, young Ishmael enlists as a galley worker aboard a Cretacean fishing vessel called the Pequod. The crew of the Pequod works tirelessly to harpoon as many "humps" and terrafins as possible, hoping to bolster their wages at the end of the voyage. To the ship's captain, there is only one creature that matters: the elusive (and some say mythical) beast known as the Great Terrafin. The Captain vows to make a rich man out of any crewmember aboard who can spear it. What follows for Ishmael is a riveting tale that harkens back to the high-seas adventures of old, full of pirate encounters and other harrowing nautical perils. Strasser's pacing is flawless, and his characters well drawn. While Ishmael's true past is unveiled slowly, readers will find themselves drawn to his obvious bravery and loyalty from the very first page. Additionally, Strasser weaves futuristic technology into an old-fashioned maritime expedition seamlessly, resulting in a setting that feels timeless. Readers need not be familiar with Melville's Moby-Dick to enjoy Strasser's take on it, although those who are should be pleased with the faithful homages. VERDICT A must-read maritime adventure story for a new generation.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2015 You don’t need to have read Moby-Dick to enjoy Strasser’s sci-fi retelling. Ishmael leaves a ravaged Earth for a mission on a feeder planet, where the natural resources needed to keep extinction at bay are gathered and shipped back. He wakes from stasis aboard a fishing trawler, the Pequod, on the pristine planet Cretacea, where he plans to earn enough to pay his foster parents’ passage off of Earth. Mad Captain Ahab’s obsessive mission to kill the mythical Great Terrafin (i.e., white whale) complicates that goal, as does Ishmael’s discovery of the real reason the terrafin are harvested for Earth. Despite the futuristic premise, the bulk of the novel is an old-fashioned maritime adventure, filled with details of the sea life: close quarters, harpoon hunts, pirate attacks, storms, and shipwrecks. Strasser (Fallout, 2013) adds dystopian corporations, time travel, a secret legacy, and more, though some elements are included too late to do more than crowd the story. Recommend to readers of pure adventure (with no romance!) on the high seas. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.