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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
The Vikings of Loch Morar by William D. Burt is an interesting and fun blend of family adventure, mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction. This book is the second in the Creation Seekers series. I had not read the first book but I had no problem catching up. For the most part, this book feels like a stand-alone adventure. The characters occasionally refer to what happened in book 1, and anything that the reader needs to know is explained well. The story follows a family of scientists that includes a young man named John and his father and grandfather. They stumble upon a sword that is a rare Viking relic. After a bit of investigating, they find that the sword has magical powers that John and the others can harness and use to create a futuristic submarine. They decide that a deep loch (Scottish for lake) in Scotland is the perfect place to test their invention and soon the whole family has relocated there for the project. While in Scotland, they meet interesting characters, some that become close friends and others that are rather mysterious. Strange things happen when they lower their sub into the loch, leading to heart-pounding adventures and more discoveries of a historic and magical nature.
I enjoyed reading The Vikings of Loch Morar. Its audience is clearly teenagers and anyone who enjoys an old-fashioned adventure filled with mystery and strange phenomena. The plot moves at a good pace with plenty of twists and exciting scenes intermingled with touching heart to heart scenes between characters. These are all well-rounded, interesting characters that I had no trouble relating to. I found myself cheering for John and his family, even tearing up a few times at some of the more endearing moments between key characters. I also liked the historical elements. They gave the story a strong foundation for its plot. One of my favorite aspects is the way the author treats biblical history as fact and weaves it into the story. This book, and most likely the whole series, is a rare find in books for younger readers. It delivers as a fun, page-turning adventure story, but then it also manages to keep its PG rating without losing its edge. Well done, William D. Burt.