Date finished: 10-30-08
Author: Dale Peck
Category: Children’s fantasy
In the wake of 9/11, three siblings are sent to live with their uncle on the Bay of Eternity in Canada. But what their parents thought would be safe haven turns out to be a fantastical (and often dangerous) adventure when the Drift House floats out onto the Sea of Time. Susan, Charles and Murray run into pirates, mermaids, talking parrots and extinct species in their quest to return the Drift House back to its original location.
This story is exactly why I love children’s fantasy stories. No one thinks a story weird because you can talk to a whale or fly on a carpet. Now, the kids find the Sea of Time a strange place, but they quickly adapt and the reader can enjoy the ride as well. There are all kinds of fantastical creatures to meet and a new world to explore. As is typical with children’s fantasy, the adults are either out of the picture, useless or incapacitated, thus requiring the kids to save the day. (I’d like to think with Uncle Farley that it was only the later as I rather liked him and hope he’ll have more of a role to play in future installments than just semi-absent caretaker.)
Hey, big surprise – Susan is a practical girl. And Charles is a geek. And Murray is just an annoying little kid. OK, so the characters fortunately prove to have more depth to them than that, and the POV does shift between Susan and Charles nicely, so you get multiple courses of action and thought. These are kids I started to care about and was eager to spend time with.
All in all a great time and I’m looking forward to the next voyage, which is already in my book stack.
Get The Drift House: The First Voyage at Amazon.com.