Booklist Reviews

At the end of Larson and Mock's Compass South (2016), twins Cleo and Alex finally reunited with their long-lost father. But the vicious pirate Morley is still in pursuit, especially now that the twins have learned the location of buried treasure, after deciphering a coded message on the heirlooms their mother left them. That's not the only surprise, however: they also learn that the man who raised them isn't their father, and their mother is an infamous pirate herself. Like the first book, this sequel is full of action, daring escapes, and plenty of secrets. Hints of family conflict—particularly Cleo's desire to learn to fight for herself, which chafes against her father's and brother's sense of duty—add a compelling emotional dimension. Mock's dynamic artwork in saturated tones captures energetic fight scenes, artful flashbacks, and expressive gestures equally well. While the ending might be a bit too tidy and disappoint readers hoping for further tales of the swashbuckling twins, there's still plenty to love about this high-seas adventure. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–8—Picking up after the events of Compass South, this high seas novel set in the 19th century finds twins Alex and Cleo reunited with their father. Using the watch and pocketknife recovered in the last book, Cleo learns the coordinates for the treasure they've been seeking, and Captain Tarboro agrees to set sail for it—in exchange for a portion. Still followed by the pirate Felix Worley, the group stop for supplies in Hawaii, where they pick up an old friend, Luther, and are pursued by Louisa, Worley's right-hand woman. A wreck reunites them with people from Tarboro's past, but family loyalty is tested by a decision Cleo makes. Full of adventure and some adolescent angst, this is a fast-paced, absorbing tale. The characters, including the villains, are fully realized, with detailed backstories and motivations. Mock uses panels in various sizes to heighten the drama, effectively shifting from close-ups to wide shots. The palette is rich, changing to match the mood of the narrative, and the characters are expressive. VERDICT With exploits and intrigue aplenty, this story will appeal to anyone who loves a rollicking good read. Though this is a stand-alone, those who are familiar with the previous book will get more out of this second installment.—Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.