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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"The Final Voyage of the Sea Explorer" is a young adult adventure tale that takes place on a diving charter boat in the Bahamas. Josh and Jimmy have been diving in lakes and quarries in their home state, Kentucky, and, as a graduation present, Josh's dad has set up a seven-day diving trip aboard a 20-passenger live-aboard boat. This will be their first chance to dive in an ocean with tropical fish, warm waters and great visibility. Every day, they gear up for several dives, including, most nights, an amazing night dive. It is challenging for them both as they must learn to temper their natural curiosity and wonder at what they are seeing with those precautions necessary to survive the experience -- watching their air capacity, steering clear of dangerous currents and surfacing slowly enough to avoid the bends.
My eyes lit up when I read the description of this book, and I was not disappointed. It is fun to experience the dives through Josh's eyes. The descriptions of the fish, coral and other undersea creatures they encounter make the dives come alive in the reader's imagination. I also loved both the sunken treasure plot that is woven throughout the story and Josh's connection to it through his ancestors. Josh is the friend anyone would want to have along on such an adventure. He is caring, courageous and willing to make tough decisions when necessary. And yes, there is a near shark attack that will get your pulse racing for a few minutes but, seriously, there is so much action and adventure in Douglas Boren's book, that the shark is a relatively minor event.