I am aged eleven and I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of unexpected events I did not expect to happen and they sprang out of nowhere and changed the story completely. I would really recommend this book for other children my age (11).
I have enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and action stories. It is a real page turner and couldn't put it down once I started reading. The character descriptions were very good so it was easy to picture the characters. overall an excellent book. Reviewer 10 years old
An excellent read. Although I'm not a "young adult" I thoroughly enjoyed this,well paced,action packed book. It's important we all find out how Ocean Daley's career progresses. Please Chris,make sure that there is a sequel!
Despite being completely the wrong target audience for this book, (I'm in my mid-thirties, and this book is aimed at teens/young adults) I was utterly gripped throughout. The story is packed full of action, intrigue, plot twists and fun.
Hopefully there'll be more from Ocean Daley in the future. If so, I'll be happy to say I was there from the beginning.
The central character in this young adult action adventure story is Ocean Daley a 16 year old schoolboy who when the book commences is about to take his GCSE's at his school in Shoreham on Sea in Sussex. Excelling in both the academic and sporting sense Ocean is nevertheless restless and is keen to escape during the summer break from the suffocating confines of the seaside town and his rather annoying mother and her somewhat anti social boyfriend. Then his mysterious Uncle Frank turns up offering a place at a summer school in the Midlands cantering for a specially selected group of gifted teenagers. Deceiving his mother who has no time for Frank he departs for the summer school and the adventure begins.
Strangely there are only 5 other attendees and it becomes clear that this is a school far removed from the norm. In order to stay on the course you need to pass in the physical, psychological and practical disciplines attuned to an organisation operating in a world of special and black ops. The story is fast moving and there is a terrific twist that occurs about two thirds of the way through which totally changes everything and sets up a cracking finale. Who and what is Orca, is it a force for good or evil and who can and can not be trusted are the themes that preoccupy the reader. By the end some of your earlier perceptions of some of the characters have certainly changed.
I certainly found this an enjoyable read and if you liked Charlie Higson's Young Bond series or indeed "The Maze" or "The Hunger Games" then I do not believe you will be disappointed. The ending certainly sets up the probability of a sequel for which I certainly will look out for.
Chris Hannon has been a complete success in creating a fully rounded, engaging main character in Ocean Daley. He steals the show as a hero with a depth and a charisma that fuels a face paced, action packed narrative. What is particularly appealing about Ocean is his sense of duty and discipline, but he is no knight in shining armour. He suffers from the same petty jealousies and frustrations as we all did as teenagers. This is what makes him so relatable. The comparisons between Orca Rising and the Young Bond series, or even Harry Potter, are inevitable. What elevates Orca Rising above this is that the action - and there's plenty of it - is grounded in reality. When people get hurt, they get hurt. They have to go to hospital and there are consequences. They carry their injuries with them and it impacts on their effectiveness. It gives the story a sense of threat that I haven't seen in other YA novels. Orca Rising is a cinematic, action romp, packed with great characters and dark deeds. This is a series begging to be written and although I'm way past the Young Adult stage, I'll be waiting for the ride.
The most obvious comparison to others works are the Alex Rider and H.I.V.E. series, which aren't bad company for Chris Hannon and Ocean to be in at all!
Orca Rising was written in a very mature and professional manner and I'll admit I was surprised when I discovered that it is only Chris Hannon's second novel. The writing came across as that of an incredibly seasoned professional, and I am interested and excited to see where Chris Hannon's writing career takes him. Orca Rising was well paced with plot developments given at the right time mixed with character development. I have a feeling there will be more books following Ocean, and Orca Rising set the scene perfectly. I do worry that perhaps the "teenage spy" thing has been done before but hopefully something new can be added to the genre.
I would recommend Orca Rising to fans of the spy genre and to readers who wouldn't usually read young adult fiction.