Reviews

Reviews of Ocean Without End

“It’s refreshing to find a rollicking children’s tale that both boys and girls will enjoy… fine debut novel.”
– Tessa Duder, Australian Women’s Weekly

“This exciting pirate adventure … introduces a fiesty young heroine called Lily Swann… Ocean Without End is a rollicking, action packed yarn sure to captivate young readers… Everyone who reads this book will be delighted to learn that the second title in this trilogy, The Pirate’s Revenge, will be published later this year.”
– Dorothy Vinicombe, NZ Herald.

“This lively adventure story, the first in a trilogy, follows the seagoing career of 12-year-old Lily Swann … The characters are colourfully larger than life … Lily doesn’t gloss over the violence but the violence is kept to a minimum… Kelly Gardiner writes fast-moving, lively prose and Lily’s indomitable spirit makes her an engaging pirate.”
– Trevor Agnew, Magpies Journal (Source/online).

“A great read! 10/10. ”
– Erik Steller (aged 10), Chatterbooks Kids’ Bookclub newsletter.

“Lily Swann’s transformation from slave to pirate princess as she searches for her father … is surprisingly believable. Set off Santa Lucia, near Malta, the swashbuckling story also carries a palatable dose of history.”
– Ann Packer, Dominion Post

“…A good narrative for either sex to get their teeth into. It is well-assembled in a young person’s (not to say children’s) sense, with sentences and paragraphs structured to meet the target audience.
But an Enid Blyton tale this is not… There’s a bit of everything thrown in – drama, violence, escape – as is required with a young person’s read, but the yarn will keep them up to finish it. And then they’ll want the next in the series. A good stimulus to get them reading.
If you give OWE to your offspring, remember to set the alarm on school mornings.”
– Christine Jordan, Greymouth Star.

“Captain de Diablo is bad enough, but he’s being controlled by a mysterious man called Hussein Reis, an Irishman turned Turkish pirate. There are battles and adventures galore, resulting in Lily becoming navigator on a small ship crewed by likeable rogues. Lily is rather too mature and confident for her age – but hey, it’s a pirate story. Young female readers will probably love a heroine who bosses grown men around.”
– Lorraine Orman, Story-go-round

“Fast-moving and fun, and exactly what many a twelve year old secretly dreams.”
– Lois Huston, Storylines All At Sea Booklist

“All the romance of the exotic, in the great Victorian tradition of swashbuckling adventure, is here writ large… There must still be room in a curriculum where often literature is bent to pedagogic and ideological ends, to revel in an adventure of ‘otherness’, to weave a tale about an exotic past replete with characters both eccentric and mysterious.”
– John McKenzie, Talespinner (NZ)/Reading Time (Aust)

“Readers will be captivated by the story and will look forward to the release of the second exciting novel.”
Tomorrow’s Schools Today

“I enjoyed the part where Lily gets sent down to work with the cook, because the cook is the only one at the beginning who is nice to Lily… I look forward to reading the rest of the series.”
– Laura Rogers (aged 12), Timaru Herald

“This book is a really good read.”
Marlborough Express

“Kelly Gardiner doesn’t avoid the violence and death of the pirate world – Lily has to help the cook treat the wounded and dying in battle – but she has also created a fast-paced, swashbuckling story… the first of what promises to be a very lively series.”
The Press

“It’s an exciting introduction to a time in history that rarely appears in history for children.”
– Rayma Turton, Magpies Journal

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