Murder, madness, and sea monsters combine in this thrilling and atmospheric middle grade debut perfect for lovers of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton.
Sophie Seacove has been abandoned by her parents and sent to work as a servant at a dilapidated house surrounded by sea monsters. (Sophie always suspected her parents hated her.) It’s dangerous work, made worse by the untrustworthy residents of the house: There’s Scree, the creaky caretaker who knows more than he lets on. The Battleship, a widow haunted by her own poor choices. And the Battleship’s twin sons, gleeful sadists who will do anything to be rid of Sophie. When the Battleship’s nephew, Cartwright, offers Sophie an irresistible deal — find the mysterious Monster Box, and he’ll get her off the island — Sophie agrees, opening up a years-old mystery and setting off a deadly chain of events. But everyone is lying to her. The twins are trying to kill her, or at least make her sit through their horrible performance of Hamlet. And Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she’s going to make it off this wretched island alive.