📖The Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

Ursula knew the submarine wasn’t designed to go this deep, but what choice did they have? No one wanted to get swallowed up by a colossal sneezing jellyfish!

In a distant watery corner of the Explorers Kingdom, a submarine engineer, Ursula, is determined to become an explorer. Unfortunately, she hides an extraordinary secret, which makes her the sworn enemy of the Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club were they ever to find out . . . But when The Collector threatens the Club, Ursula throws caution to the wind and leads an expedition through treacherous waters, filled with gremlins, aboard the Blowfish submarine – and joined by her friends Max, Genie and Jai – and even her idol Stella!

So I actually started this book a while ago. When I first started it I felt really jarred and struggled to get into the book because I wasn’t presented with the usual quartet that I had come to know over the first three books of the series. I was so discombobulated by it that I ended up putting the book down.

I didn’t come back to it for ages. I only picked it up again because the next book in the series was released and I knew I needed to read this to read that.

Knowing that I was going to be confronted by a new set of characters actually made it easier to get into reading it. It actually made all the difference to me. I was able to be fully open to the new characters and take them into my heart like I had with the original quartet.

In this book we meet Ursula, who is the main character of the new quartet. Ursula has a secret; one she’s kept her entire life and it’s actually the unravelling of that secret that sets her on the path to the adventures that await.

Along with Ursula we meet the siblings Jai and Genie. Jai, a member of the Ocean Squid Explorer’s Club who happens to be a stickler for the rules (he reminds me a little of Ethan), and Genie his sister who is a whisperer. I won’t tell you her whisper animal – you’ll have to read it to find out. Lastly there is Max, a rule breaker who loves to invent robots. His robot duck is particularly impressive.

They come together in a submarine and set off on their adventure. It was great to get to see the Ocean Squid Explorers Club from their own perspective as the only other insight into it that I’ve had has been Ethan! The glamour of the submarine is something that can only exist in the pages of a book. I wish there were submarines like this in the real world but then I suppose everyone would be holidaying in them!

Scarlett is as villainous as she was in the previous book. Alex Bell does a good job of writing her in a way that seems ‘bad’ to the other characters but that still leaves Scarlett feeling justified in her actions of the ‘greater good’. Kind of like a less drastic Dumbledore.

As the first three books of the series followed Stella’s adventures, I’m going to hazard a guess that the next three books follow Ursula’s adventures. I wonder if the series will end with six books or if the series will evolve with another quartet beyond those of Stella and Ursula.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨

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