Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Review: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey (Chronicles of Egg #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great main characters and a fun adventure story
Cons: A little slow at the beginning
The Bottom Line:
Egg's story begins
With danger and adventure
In a fun debut

Egg's Life is Turned Upside Down

I never would have read middle grade book Deadweather and Sunrise if I hadn't won it and the sequel in a contest a few months back.  While they sounded fun, I didn't bump them to the to of my to be read pile.  I should have given them a higher priority because I really enjoyed this book.

Egbert "Egg" Masterson has grown up on the Island of Deadweather.  His family runs a fruit plantation, and the rest of the island is overrun by pirates.  It's about as pleasant as it sounds.

On Egg's thirteenth birthday, his dad surprises the entire family by announcing they are traveling to the neighboring island of Sunrise.  Life on this island is pleasant and fun and about as opposite as you can get from life on Deadweather.  Trips there are always a treat.

Except within hours of landing there, Egg finds himself alone.  Soon, someone has tried to kill him.  Alone and scared, can Egg figure out why someone wants him dead and stay alive long enough to get home?

The setting of this book is a little hard to describe.  No, I don't mean the islands themselves.  It feels like a parallel world during the exploration period of history.  It's definitely not our world, yet it's also not pure fantasy.  I felt at home right away, too, so the target middle grade audience will jump in with no issues.

The book does start a little slowly as it is setting up the plot and introducing us to the characters and a setting.  Even then, it is entertaining.

However, once the story gets going, it is very hard to put down.  I read the last 120 pages in one day, and then I was only stopping for such pesky things as the end of my breaks or lunch hour.  It certainly appealed to me thanks to pirates and adventure.

I also really liked Egg.  He's a resourceful hero who is doing the best he can after finding himself in way over his head.  The other main characters are equally as engaging.  Honestly, their fate was another big reason I was glued to the find third of the book.  Not all the characters are as well developed, but most of them are only on the page for a little bit of time, so it doesn't matter.

All this is told with a little bit of narration that keeps things moving.  Kids will have no issue with the vocabulary, and will easily get lost in the fun of the story.

There is a little romance that will appeal to girls, but the pirates and adventure will definitely appeal to boys.  They should love this one and come back for more.

Speaking of coming back for more, I am repositioning the second on my to be read pile as we speak.  Deadweather and Sunrise definitely leaves you wanting the next chapter in Egg's adventure.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.  Follow the link to find other entries.


  1. I liked how you described the setting. I love a book with a strong setting. :)

    1. This one really does have a strong setting. I bet you'd enjoy it.