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Journey to Atlantis (The Submarine Outlaw…
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Journey to Atlantis (The Submarine Outlaw Series) (2009)

by Philip Roy

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My kids loved Journey to Atlantis (book 2) even more than the first book in the series, (Submarine Outlaw). Philip Roy does a great job of appealing to the explorer in all of us. And he definitely raises the question of whether or not Atlantis exists. Al's travels in the Mediterranean are interesting, and magical. This is the kind of book that both girls and boys love; it's well-written and fascinating from start to finish. 5 stars, for sure! ( )
  Isabella2 | Mar 15, 2013 |
I was worried/excited that Journey to Atlantis would break entirely from the precedent set by the first book in the series and suddenly have mermaids, a city suspended under a bubble on the bottom of the ocean, or other such impossibilities. Worried for readers who were drawn to the first book because of it's realistic tone and wealth of information; excited because Atlantis is pretty cool. Turns out, my worry was unnecessary. Magical creatures don't suddenly pop out of the ocean to take Alfred, Hollie, and Seaweed to their underwater palaces; this book is planted firmly in reality. Still, the ocean is still an unfathomable place, exactly why Alfred wants to be free to explore it, and not everything he encounters during his trip across the ocean can be rationalized or explained away.

Alfred studies quite a bit in preparation for this trip, looking especially at accounts of others' search for the lost city. He also studies at sea navigation, international law for water travel, and modern day piracy (in order to avoid, not to practice). All of this studying happens before the opening of the book (luckily), but the knowledge Alfred acquired over the winter shows throughout the novel and, of course, is shared with the reader. What might be considered an information overload in another series, fits well with the Alfred (and Ziegfried) we were introduced to in the previous book.

During his trip, Alfred meets scholars, sailors, world travelers, and many other people during his travels (yes, including pirates!). Though he continues to be brave and good, sacrificing his time and, in some cases, his safety to help others, this book is more about the exploring that Alfred is finally able to do rather than his adventures in the submarine. The descriptions of the Mediterranean, the western coast of Africa, Azores are amazing. Roy practically paints pictures of these locales, in addition to describing the people Alfred gets to meet. Though the story remains a bit episodic, Journey to Atlantis has a clear goal in mind throughout: find the lost city. Alfred retraces the steps of other explorers, circles sonar abnormalities, and most importantly, lets himself believe that there might be something left of Atlantis to find. His eagerness to continue the search ties all of his other encounters together, making this book flow much more smoothly than the last. I can't wait to see how Roy improves on the next book in the series as well.

This is a great second book in a series. It takes us beyond the premise of the first book, but does not act ONLY as a bridge to the third book. No Second Book Syndrome here! The third book in the series, River Odyssey, will take Alfred, Hollie and Seaweed up the St. Lawrence River where Alfred hopes to find not only a sunken ocean-liner but his father.

Book source: Review copy from publisher ( )
  lawral | Sep 10, 2010 |
Showing 2 of 2
"Philip Roy's confident, refreshing Journey to Atlantis avoids the tendency now to write such stories as complicated grand narratives set in magical secondary worlds, and provides a lean, linear, episodic tale that doesn't really require familiarity with its prequel, The Submarine Outlaw....The premise is straightforward and compelling....echoing the myths and legends that inform this book as much as its knowledge of seafaring and sea lore....there is just enough vivid, precisely chosen visual detail to bring these places to life, while reminding readers "that it was the interesting places that made you travel somewhere, but the people that made you go back." Like Treasure Island's Jim, Alfred is fifteen, old enough to pursue his quest plausibly, young enough to retain a sense of wonder....it has an odd credibility about it, and appealing characters...."
 
"Philip Roy's confident, refreshing Journey to Atlantis avoids the tendency now to write such stories as complicated grand narratives set in magical secondary worlds, and provides a lean, linear, episodic tale that doesn't really require familiarity with its prequel, The Submarine Outlaw....The premise is straightforward and compelling....echoing the myths and legends that inform this book as much as its knowledge of seafaring and sea lore....there is just enough vivid, precisely chosen visual detail to bring these places to life, while reminding readers "that it was the interesting places that made you travel somewhere, but the people that made you go back." Like Treasure Island's Jim, Alfred is fifteen, old enough to pursue his quest plausibly, young enough to retain a sense of wonder....it has an odd credibility about it, and appealing characters...."
 
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In this sequel to his best-selling novel Submarine Outlaw from 2008, Alfred, the intrepid young submarine outlaw, once again sets out to sea in his homemade submarine. In Journey to Atlantis, Alfred and his crew (his dog Hollie and his second mate the seagull Seaweed) sail across the Atlantic and enter the Mediterranean in search of the fabled lost island of Atlantis. Alfred must be both practical and trust his premonitions on many occasions to stay safe on this ambitious and far-reaching adventure. From a daring rescue of drowning fishermen to becoming involved in a skirmish between Canadian coastguard ships and Spanish fishing trawlers, from escaping an exploding WWII sea mine to colliding with a partially submerged container filled with toys, from turning the chase on bumbling pirates to an unscheduled camel trek into the desert, Alfred’s submarine voyage brings him closer and closer to the legendary island until one moonless night he finds himself a little too close for comfort.
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With his loyal crew of a dog and a seagull by his side, Alfred sails across the Atlantic in his home-made submarine and enters the Mediterranean in search of the fabled lost island of Atlantis. Ziegfried, genius and master builder of the sub, cautions Alfred to be careful and practical.… (more)

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