Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Briny Deep Mysteries: Trilogy Review

**FTC disclosure: Books received at no charge to facilitate my review. As always, I am free to give an honest review.

                        The Disappearing - Book 1

For Tim and his friends the seaside town of Briny Deep is the perfect place to grow up together. Nothing bad ever happens. Nothing until a stranger comes to town and a young girl disappears. Now Tim has more to worry about than his recurring nightmare in which a stranger chases him but he alway awakens before getting caught. When one of his own friends disappear, he and his friend Max set out to solve the mystery behind the disappearances and the stranger with the yellow hair. A jarring conversation overheard by Tim leaves him with more questions than answers about what might those closest to him are hiding.

The short novel length will appeal to the reluctant reader upper middle grade reader. However, the older teen may not find the story stimulating enough, especially since the plot relies on the cliche of a recurring dream. However, the cliffhanger presented by Torres will have the paranormal science fiction fan reaching for the next installment.

The Return - Book 2

In the two weeks since his best friend, Luke, disappeared Tim hasn't found many clues to his whereabouts. He has learned the name of the stranger with the yellow-hair, Canary. He is certain if he could find out more about a place called Earth, he may be able to find his friends. In the meantime, Tim overhears a conversation that makes him worry about his remaining friends, Max, Emily and Nina. In his quest to solve the mystery of the missing children, he stumbles across a secret  tunnel. His discovery takes him from the only home Tim has ever known.

Instead of starting where the previous book left off, The Return, begins inside Tim's recurring dream, making it hard for the reader to get into the real story. It takes several chapters to follow the plot, potentially losing those who haven't read the first installment. Luckily, the excitement builds and leaves a surprise twist for the protagonist.

The Battle - Book 3

Tim and his friends, Luke, Max and Emily have uncovered the dark secret of Briny Deep and embark on a journey to a place called Earth where the surprise of their lives await. But Tim can't quell the lingering feeling that he has left something behind. Trident, the evil leader of Briny deep, has vowed to stop the return of the precious cargo that he is convinced will save his planet.

Plenty of plot twists keep the reader engaged in climax of Torres' paranormal mystery trilogy. Overall, the series wobbles on lack of strong interactions between the protagonist and his female friends. Those who love plot driven stories may overlook the lack of reliance on friends and may even admire Tim's independent streak.

Series Rating:  Good to Recommended ★★★✬☆

Publishing Information:
 Publisher: Speeding Star (Sept. 2014)
Pages: 95-96 pages each book
ISBN-13: 978-1622851737, 978-1622851812, 978-1622851867
Age Level: 9-14

These books can be purchased from the following retailers: