Saturday 17 July 2021

McCracken and the Lost Island - Mark Adderley - McCracken Book 1

McCracken and the Lost Island
McCracken Book 1
Scriptorium Press
ISBN 9781482793673

I became interested in this book because it was mentioned on a list of Catholic books for tween and teens. It was described as a Catholic Indiana Jones, and it lived up to that description. The tag line for the series is: “If Catholic Adventure Has A Name, It Must Be McCracken” and this first story lives up to that. The description of the series is:

“The McCracken Adventures take place in the early years of the twentieth century, when many of the philosophies that formed the modern imagination were taking shape.  Consequently, McCracken’s adversaries are representatives of the Culture of Death.  What is the Catholic response to nihilism, communism, eugenics and many others?  McCracken provides young readers with a guide through the minefield of twentieth-century thought.”

And the description of this volume is:

“Seeking adventure? Look no further! The year is 1913: the place, Europe. McCracken, inventor, engineer, big-game hunter and faithful Catholic, tells the stories of his adventures in a series of novels made for everyone who loves adventure--but especially for boys. McCracken and the Lost Island is an adventure beneath the waves and atop a hidden land. The team assembles: Ariadne Bell, communications expert; Nicola Jaubert, deep sea diver; Vasili Sikorsky, airship pilot; and "Mac," McCracken, inventor and engineer. Together they find the lost island--but will its secrets prove too dangerous for a world at the edge of war?”

This story is an interesting combination of action, adventure, historical fiction and faith. This was an excellent read. McCracken is just finishing up a journey to the Dark Continent when he is approached about a new adventure. A partnership that includes leaders in their field, and an old flame. A deep sea diver, an airship pilot and McCracken. McCracken is an adventurer, an inventor, an engineer and a hunter. But he is also a man of faith. He peppers Hail Mary’s while at risk. And there is more than a little risk and danger on this adventure. Sometimes when at great risk or in danger we realize what matters most to us. And For McCracken that happens during this tale. 

Adderley does an amazing job creating the historic setting come to life. And his characters both heroes and villains are masterfully written. Almost all readers will appreciate McCracken, Ariadne is strong, poised and determined. Even Fritz will pull at your heartstrings a bit. And as a bonus at the end of the book are two recipies from Fritz’s kitchen, they are Königsberger Klopsch and Rotkohl. I already have plans to try both soon. 

I had never heard of the series or the author prior to reading this book. But I already have plans to read the rest of this series and his other series, The Matter of Britain Series. This is indeed a great read for tweens teens and also for us older folks. If you read and enjoyed the 39 Clues books this is one for you. If you like the Indiana Jones movies I am certain this book will entertain. If you are looking for a great historical fiction adventure novel give this a try. A fantastic read that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Mark Adderley
McCracken Adventure Series:
McCracken and the Lost Lady
McCracken and the Lost Cavern
McCracken and the Lost Oasis
McCracken and the Lost Vessel

The Matter of Britain Series:
The Hawk and the Cup
The Hawk and the Huntress

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