But in one of the most engaging examples of foreshadowing I have read in a long time, McGahan lets us know that Dow Amber WILL spend his life on the seas, and we will find out all about it if only we read on.
Chance and destiny all come tied together when Dow finds out the reason behind his nautical yearnings. This – the first novel of a promised series – explains how Dow comes to leave home, learn basic sailing and join the legendary (but cruel) Ship Kings on an adventure that will take him far away from where it all began.
There is the promise of more in this novel, that begins to develop the legend of Dow Amber, but can only give us so much of the story in this installment. I will certainly pick up the next one and am keen to see the pieces of the puzzle unravel.
Andrew McGahan is better known for his politically bent adult fiction, such as the brilliantly written The White Earth which I read a number of years ago. Its interesting to see him turn his skills to something a little more fun. His mastery of suspense is not lost here. But I’m not going to come out and say it’s my pick for CBCA Young Adult Fiction book of the year just yet.