Saturday 2 October 2021

McCracken and the Lost Lagoon - Mark Adderley - McCracken Book 4

McCracken and the Lost Lagoon
McCracken Book 4
Scriptorium Press
ISBN 9781533209184

After four book I can say I am hooked on this series. I became interested in this series because it was mentioned on a list of Catholic books for tween and teens. The book and series are described as a Catholic Indiana Jones, and it lives up to that description. I am now reading the whole series as well as Adderley’s Arthurian series. This was the fifth book by Adderley that I have read in the last 2 months. The tag line for this series is: “If Catholic Adventure Has A Name, It Must Be McCracken” and this fourth story continues to lives up to that description, and in fact the action and adventure appears to get more intense with each new book. 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:

“January 1916. McCracken has a new family, and wants to give up the life of adventure. But adventure finds him when his old friend, Nicolas Jaubert, goes missing, and McCracken must complete Jaubert's work by finding the Corkindrill, a secret weapon that could help Britain and France win World War I. This thrilling new adventure story brings McCracken face-to-face with assassins, crocodiles, and Amazon warriors, carries him through strange civilizations and steaming jungles, and finally pits him against a diabolical villain whose evil plan is world domination.”

This series and specifically this book is an interesting combination of action, adventure, historical fiction, and it is infused with faith. This fourth instalment is another excellent read, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. I am solidly hooked. McCracken is soon on a new adventure. The chapters in this volume are:

A Meeting in the Jungle 
A Chance to Go Home 
HMS Ham and Tripe 
Adventures on the High Seas 
Searching for the Voltigeur 
Adventure Cancelled 
Journey into Africa 
The Crocodile People 
The Crocodile God and the Child of the Sun 
The Path of Ombure 
The Sassywood Man 
A Tale of Survival 
The Tree of Forgetting 
A Meeting in the Slave Camp 
Trouble at the Factory 
An Amphibious Solution 
From Fritz’s Kitchen

My children love reading the chapter titles and trying to figure out what might happen. Before we read the book and as we go along. Again this time the story is packed with action from the beginning to the end. The story begins with these words:

“I didn’t have to be here, I reflected, as I watched the bandit emerge from the jungle at the far end of the bridge. 

I could be at home—or what was home for the moment, anyway—in Belize City, with my beautiful wife Ariadne and our newborn son Archie. 

Or perhaps I could be in Aberdeen, celebrating the Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year.  But that had been a little over a fortnight ago, and it really didn’t seem like New Year at all in the steaming, hot jungle.  I missed the damp, the rain, the louring clouds of the land of my birth.  I swatted a mosquito as another bandit stepped out of the dark forest and joined the first.

In fact, I thought, as the number of the bandits doubled once more, I would rather be almost anywhere than here, which was in central America, a hundred miles from the nearest city where anyone spoke English, where the cardinal rule for life was Do what the cartels tell you.”

Thus this story begins right from the first words with action. And That pace continues throughout the whole story. McCracken is informed of the death of his friend Jaubert, and he is approached by the French and British governments to investigate. For the research Jaubert was working on could have a huge impact on the war effort and for the whole world.

In this story McCracken has adventures under the sea, a close encounter with a U-boat. Brushes with African tribes and tribal justice. And he encounters an old foe with a plan for domination.  

Again, Adderley does an excellent job in his creation of the historic setting, he really brings it to life. His characters both the heroes and the villains are very well written. Most readers will appreciate McCracken his passion, quick thinking, and his faith. His wife the Lady Ariadne is strong, poised and determined. Fritz as always plays an important role. As a bonus at the end of the book are two recipes from Fritz’s Kitchen. My youngest daughter usually wants to test the recipes. But seeing as I am the only one in the house who eats Crab we will just be trying the Yam Soup this time. 

I had not heard of the series or the author prior to reading book 1. It has taken a great deal of restraint for me to not plough through this whole series. I have now read the first four books in this series and book 1 in The Matter of Britain Series. I am trying not to over binge on Adderley’s books. This is another 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. An excellent read that I highly recommend. A great read in an excellent series. My son is hooked on the books now as well. And his younger sister enjoys listening to us read them. These are great books for the family! 

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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