Knife's Edge

illus. by Rebecca Mock. 224p. (Four Points: Bk. 2). Farrar. Jun. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780374300449.
Gr 4–8—Picking up after the events of Compass South, this high seas novel set in the 19th century finds twins Alex and Cleo reunited with their father. Using the watch and pocketknife recovered in the last book, Cleo learns the coordinates for the treasure they've been seeking, and Captain Tarboro agrees to set sail for it—in exchange for a portion. Still followed by the pirate Felix Worley, the group stop for supplies in Hawaii, where they pick up an old friend, Luther, and are pursued by Louisa, Worley's right-hand woman. A wreck reunites them with people from Tarboro's past, but family loyalty is tested by a decision Cleo makes. Full of adventure and some adolescent angst, this is a fast-paced, absorbing tale. The characters, including the villains, are fully realized, with detailed backstories and motivations. Mock uses panels in various sizes to heighten the drama, effectively shifting from close-ups to wide shots. The palette is rich, changing to match the mood of the narrative, and the characters are expressive.
VERDICT With exploits and intrigue aplenty, this story will appeal to anyone who loves a rollicking good read. Though this is a stand-alone, those who are familiar with the previous book will get more out of this second installment.

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