An afternoon sail takes a mystical turn when a storm hits, leaving three siblings dangerously stranded.
Eleven-year-old twins Jonah and Emma crew a sailboat captained by their older brother, William, on a familiar cross-bay trip. The day begins as it usually does, with the twins bickering, but when Emma’s prized conch shell is lost to the sea, magical forces are awakened. A storm strikes, landing the battered craft and crew on a mysterious shore where a terrible mermaid queen holds sway over a horde of bewitched ships’ figureheads and zombie pirates. When Jonah and William are both captured, it is up to Emma and her savior, Finn, to save her brothers, defeat the evil queen, and set the enchanted figureheads free. Creepy, filled with peril, and saturated with sea lore, this fifth installment in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series features a variation on the sea tale. Unfortunately, while the lesson that bad things can happen when siblings fight is strong, the amalgamation of flat characters and a disjointed plot fails to provoke any genuine dread. Diversity is limited to the magical variety, with humans belonging to the white default. A brief glimpse into the original inspiration for the tale along with scattered illustrations and a glossary of seafaring terms provides context.
A marginally spooky tale that never finds its sea legs. (Supernatural adventure. 9-12)