Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Good new science YA science fiction is hard to come by, and The Aquanauts fills the void nicely. Interesting and well-developed characters, an exciting adventure, and a whirlwind trip through time make this a great read.
Sixteen-year-old Greta Kovachi has no idea what she is getting into when she takes a summer job helping out in the undersea lab where her scientist father works. But things go badly almost right away. To start with, Greta, a self-styled goth girl and rebel, doesn't hit it off with the other young people in the habitat: Jules, a by-the-book miltary school student; Marco, a scientific prodigy; and young Nicky, who is likeable but a bit of a pest. Then, an accident happens in the secret lab, and the four young people are thrust into an adventure involving time travel, a black hole, and a mad scientist. The teens must learn to work together to try to save themselves, their parents, and the habitat. In the process they find that they have a lot in common, forge a bond of friendship that will last a lifetime, and learn that together they can accomplish anything.
The Aquanauts is an fun adventure and a satisfying science fiction story. Teens will identify with the young people in the book, each coping with the pressures of growing up in his or her own way. This is no cartoon adventure; the four young people are real, fleshed out characters that ring true, and the pain and challenges they experience feel real as well.