'It's one of them days when everything is off. A hot sweaty night in Rusty Bus means we kids is all grouchy-tired. Me and my best friend, Jaguar, is trying to cool down by taking turns at dipping in the sea pool. Him standing on the sea wall made from car frames and rocks on lookout for crocs, me swimming, then we'll swap places. We's always doing things as a team, him and me. We's gonna be the best fisher people and the best salvagers on the whole of the inland sea one day.'
Neoma and Jag and their small community are 'living gentle lives' on high ground surrounded by the risen sea that has caused widespread devastation. When strangers from the Valley of the Sun arrive unannounced, the friends find themselves drawn into a web of secrecy and lies that endangers the way of life of their entire community.
Soon daring, loyal Neoma must set off on a solo mission across the risen sea, determined to rescue her best friend and find the truth that will save her village. Across the Risen Sea is another thrilling adventure for young readers from the bestselling author of How to Bee and The Dog Runner.
Neoma, Jag and their families live on an island in a group that all live “gentle lives”, trying to lessen their impact on the environment after the seas rose and caused widespread destruction and isolated many communities.
But when people from the Valley of the Sun arrive unexpectedly on the island, it sets off a chain of events that will force Neoma to leave the safety of her community to try to save her friend and her village.
This is an action packed novel set in a post climate change world - a flooded alternative Australia. Neoma and Jag are great characters and the very best of friends. They are both forced to be brave and courageous and resourceful. Marta, who is the elder of the village, is a strong woman who expects the best of everyone and is not afraid to tell them.
Across the Risen Sea is an adventure story that will keep readers intrigued. Ultimately, it is a story of friendship, family and community that will most appeal to readers in upper primary and above.
Reviewed by Michelle