Sarah's Stars

Jack Mitchell. The Ancient Ocean Blues
Tundra $11.99  ISBN 978-0-88776-832-3 192 pg.
Reviewed by Tyler, Age 13

I ran to Homer and picked him up by the waist. “You’re a maniac!” I cried.  “A maniac and a genius!” 

“Really sir,” he replied, sighing, “I beg you not to confuse my good fortune with Brasidas’s stupidity.  I have never seen such a craven performance. Did you see how his eyes never left his own book?  Not worthy of a tyrant, really, but not uncharacteristic of an author.” 

The Ancient Ocean Blues is about the young Caesar who wishes to rise to power and is helped by Gaius Oppius, and whose cousin Marcus proves useful and is soon dragged into the middle of it all.  Marcus is then sent on a secret voyage to try to stop Pompey and Cicero joining forces and ruining the campaign.  However, in the middle of the sea they are hit by a large storm and shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island.

I think anyone interested in historical fiction should read The Ancient Ocean Blues because Mitchell takes Roman history and alters it in a way that it still seems like non-fiction.  As in the fact that Ancient Roman culture hasn’t changed only the perspective of its legacies are changed.  Another reason this is a good book is that Mitchell is very good at character development, such as when Homer stands up to the vanquished Spartan.  I doubt he would have been able to do it as fearlessly at the beginning of the book.  It was a subtle change but easy to see if you look hard enough.

I give The Ancient Ocean Blues 5 adventurous stars. If you like Roman history then this book will be a great read, or check out his other book, The Roman Conspiracy.


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