I must be honest, after reading the Oz series, this book did not live up to the tradition. I would think that this would be right up my alley, taking place in the ocean depths; but alas, not so much. That is not to say it was not a good story, just not great.
Both Avery and myself were not at all impressed with Trot. She came off as a sassy, spoiled brat who was too often combatitive and rude. Given that she is merely a little girl, her manners could have been more forth coming and yet never was there a chastising.
Captain Bill on the other hand is always a hoot. He brings joy and patience, every bit the foil of the pom-pass Trot. Why do I harbor such ill will to this character? She did not elicit such emotion from either Avery or myself in the Oz books.
Anway, Trot and Captain Bill explore the ocean depths with mermaids only to get caught up in the throws of the most wicked being at the bottom of the sea: Zog, the wicked magician. Although I have to say, for how wicked Zog was supposed to be he was presented as not unlikable. Every bit of his despicable demeanor was tempered with compassion which made for an odd juxtaposition.
The denizens of the deep blue sea were treated rather callously, very much beneath the way any bit of life was treated in the Oz books. Painted with idiocy and a callous manner, most seemed nothing more than a swimming snack to be forgotten rather quickly.
There was much to do about slaves in this book. Whether it was the poor souls brought to the ocean’s bottom to serve Zog, or the forced servitude of the simple animals of the deep for the Mermaids, Zog or King Anko, the magnificent sea serpent; very little was said about the predicament; and what was proffered was readily accepted as fate.
There were some other odd, dark moments in this book: Some talk of suicide and a bit more violence towards the favourite of my ocean dwellers: Squid; or as they book denoted them – sea devils.
While I am glad I did get to read his book, I am hesitant to read another tale of Trot. If it was Captain Bill alone, I’d jump a the opportunity.