Read Fire in the Sea by Myke Bartlett Online


Sadie is sixteen and bored with life in Perth. It’s summer, and lazing on the beach in the stifling heat with her cousins and Tom is a drag. Then something comes out of the sea.Dark menacing forms attack an old man, leaving him for dead and Sadie wracking her brains to understand what she saw. Then there’s a mysterious inheritance, a strange young man called Jake and a horSadie is sixteen and bored with life in Perth. It’s summer, and lazing on the beach in the stifling heat with her cousins and Tom is a drag. Then something comes out of the sea.Dark menacing forms attack an old man, leaving him for dead and Sadie wracking her brains to understand what she saw. Then there’s a mysterious inheritance, a strange young man called Jake and a horned beast trampling the back yard.Sadie finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient conflict that is nearing its final battle, a showdown that threatens to engulf Perth and all those she loves in a furious tsunami.Fire in the Sea is a fast-paced thrilling adventure with a feisty heroine who is not afraid to fight for what she knows is right....

Title : Fire in the Sea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781921922749
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 264 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fire in the Sea Reviews

  • Scribble Orca
    2019-04-24 19:55

    Interview with Myke Bartlett: Part 1!Oh! Just need to catch my breath. WOW. Btw, those are 10 stars, not five.A book has to work very hard to counteract my ADHD. I know, I should make more of an effort to stop being a serial book-adulterer but that asking me to stop breathing.I stopped for this book.What happened that a relatively unknown Melbourne-based Aussie writer of a young adult (it's suitable for upper middle grade, too) fantasy realism novel that's good enough to keep an (old) adult enthralled into the wee morning hours attracted my attention in the first place?At the behest of every known person and what passes for their pet, I finally decided to broach the twitterverse. And amazingly enough, I like the chatty one-liners and the light-speed back-and-forth (yeah, you don't have to tell me, it's probably my ADHD!). Even more astonishing is the fact that people besides you-must-read-my-latest-incredible-outpouring-of-words-authors follow me.Being a twitter neophyte also meant that I've learned some lessons the hard way. Such as if you follow someone it pays to at least check who they are first, because DUH! when you follow them back they can DM (I thought it was some new kind of kinky sex term at first - you know, shorthand for BDSM!) you with one of those you-must-read-me-NOW missives.When Myke Bartlett followed me my first thought was 'Oh no, not again.' But being a stickler for my own rules, I read his tweet tagline and bingo. The man won THE TEXT PRIZE last year. In case that has no significance for you it is a MAJOR Australian publishing prize open to any Aussie/NZ resident, any age, published or unpublished, with a Children's or Young Adult manuscript.Fast as a tweet I was on his webpage and looking up his book. And the man is a tease, I tell you. A total tease!Three figures shot up from the harbour depths. They rose ten metres in the air, trailing saltwater, and then dropped onto the wharf. Their hair was knotted and foul and their faces warped and discoloured. They wore tight-fitting, tarnished armour: chain-mail vests stained with verdigris and heavy bracelets on bony wrists. Helmets masked their eyes and exaggerated their brows into curled horns. One carried a double-bladed axe, one had a sword strung from his rotting leather belt, and the last gripped a trident.That was it. THAT WAS GODDAMN IT. And he used the word verdigris. Swoon.Now let's just stop here for a minute and read that paragraph again. What a picture. What a pace. What lean-and-hungry prose. That is why I DMed him (not the other way round) begging for a review copy. His publishers kindly obliged and within half an hour of never having heard of Mr Bartlett and his book, I was glued to my laptop and nothing short of nuclear war would have stopped me from reading.The comparison of Sadie, the lead heroine, to that other famously-wooden-I-will-be-the-last-fashionably-dressed-mancontestant-standing aren't justified (and yes, Victorian State Library's blog says Fire in the Sea is what would happen if Suzanne Collins and John Marsden co-wrote a fantasy novel) because Myke Bartlett just does it better.Sadie is you or me, or your next-door-neighbour's daughter, who's lost her parents in a car crash and is living with her averagely nice grandparents, just trying to be a not-too-typical-and-not-too-different teenager in Perth. All Sadie really wants is to escape the need to 'soldier on', to leave Perth's middle-class suburbia behind her, and find a life somewhere else, much to the dismay of her best friend Tom, who's just at that awkward age where he wants Sadie to be more than best friend, but has no real clue as to how to change the status quo.Enter old man Jacob who dies and leaves Sadie his house with the proviso she live in it for a year and guard its contents. Before she has a chance to commit, someone's already broken into the house, claiming to be the old man returned.Now if that happened to you or me, what would you do? Yup, that's right. Roll your eyes and look at hot, young Jake and say "You're like, seriously hallucinating, dude." Which naturally Sadie does.But then Jacob/Jake's lawyer is murdered right in front of Sadie's eyes, and she can't keep ignoring what's going on. Tom is gored by a wild bull - except it's the Minotaur made into somebody's pet. And that somebody has some very nasty plans for Jake, and now Sadie and Tom.If I go on any further, I'm going to be entering spoiler territory and this book is SOOOOO GOOD I'm going to stop right here.If you love nicely drawn characters and finely hewn prose, if you like twisty turns of plot and beautifully rendered depictions of setting, read this book. NOW. YESTERDAY!Disclaimer - I approached the author for a review copy, kindly provided by the publishing house Text Publishing. I received no remuneration or payment in kind for this review. And even if I had, I wouldn't stop telling you to READ THIS BOOK.

  • Jonathan Terrington
    2019-05-06 22:42

    Well here it is, review number 200 for the year. In case you didn't realise that means I've reached my goal of reading 200 books for the year. Which equates to... 65,840 pages read across the year. And this is a decent book to reach my target on too. A quality YA novel by a Melbourne writer.I'd like to take another moment just to say something about Australia and my heritage. Our history has lots of moments that I'm not proud of but at the same time I'm glad that my ancestors were on the fleets and that I ended up growing up here. It's a "sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains" to quote Dorothea Mackellar and I love it. The reason I brought this up is because it seems to me that Myke Bartlett clearly loves Australia too in his own way. His fantasy tale is a solid YA novel set in Australia (and it's one of the few contemporary novels focused around Australia that I've really liked) and it reveals our unique linguistic characteristics and culture quite well without seeming too drawn out. It's a naturally written novel with a unique idea and one which will add to the literature we have produced. Curiously we have produced mainly famous poets and short story writers with one or two bestsellers like Matthew Reilly here or there. I'd love to say a lot about the story of Fire in the Sea unfortunately that would ruin the fun. I will say that there are Greek mythology elements, reincarnation and some fascinating villains. The plot could be passed off as a typical 'fantasy quest' to recover a mystical item in the fashion of The Once and Future King. However this book is more than that. In its own way it subverts those typical quest elements and adds in other ideas such as reincarnation while quite cleverly using the thought of humanity rebelling against the gods. All in all an excellent novel set in my own country for once that I've enjoyed. Also a great way to introduce mythology and modern day settings! I'd encourage anyone interested in trying something in the YA fantasy subgenre written with an 'Aussie' tone to give this a go. If you like it then we can talk about Banjo Patterson, Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar!P.S: I personally must add that I found it hilarious the way the book went on about The God Squad-ers in the neighbourhood as being creepy. I personally know some guys from those groups and they're pretty cool. Another example of why you really shouldn't stereotype or judge people.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-27 15:03

    Fire in the Sea is the debut novel from Australian author Myke Bartlett and is set in Perth. Sadie Miller is approaching her last year of school but before that a long summer stretches out in front of her. She’s been spending days at the beach with her cousins, twins Heather and Kimberley, and her best friend, Tom, and she’s waiting for something, anything, to happen to shake things up. Then one night she and Tom step in to stop an assault on an old man and Sadie thinks she must be seeing things because the attackers, strange creature-like men, run off into the sea. The old man, Jacob Freeman, dies and he leaves Sadie his house on the condition that she protects it, and the contents. Not long after that a boy appears at the house claiming to be Jacob Freeman and it’s from that point that Sadie is swept up in a battle for the relic that holds the power to ruin or save the world.Jacob claims to be an Old One, an eight thousand year old immortal warrior, who takes the body of a human, lives on earth and guards a box in which he trapped a demon. He leads a squadron and most of them also live in Perth. Many, many years ago, the Gods sunk an entire city when a priestess, Lysandra, betrayed the Gods and consorted with a demon to try and get more power. Jacob trapped the demon and he is the only one who can open the box something he will never do. Lysandra and her people, referred to as Drowners, are still living below the sea while her minions and her Minotaur, roam the city, attempting to find and open the box. The Gods have proclaimed that if this ever happens they will destroy her and the entire world.I read about Fire in the Sea last week and knew that it was a book I had to read as Text Publishing produce some fantastic Aussie YA and lately a lot of them have been contemporary with a fantasy or paranormal element, Fire in the Sea fits this category.The story opens with a description of the stillness and heat of an Australian summer and from that moment I felt myself in Sadie’s world, alongside her at the beach. She’s so bored that she’s allowed Heather to do a tarot card reading for her and she predicts change. What Sadie isn’t aware of is that there are forces at work in her city that could destroy our world and she’s about to join the battle.Sadie was easy to like and I could feel her disappointment with her current life. She’s making plans to finish high school and then leave to travel the world and find somewhere else to live. Most of this wanderlust stems from the death of her parents in a car crash six years ago. Since then she hasn’t wanted to talk about it, preferring to keep her pain to herself and I could understand the wall she put up around herself as well as her fear of loss and death. Sadie lives with her grandparents who were both instantly likeable, especially her grandfather, Stan. The first time we meet him, we get a strong image of what he’s like as a person and the banter between him and his granddaughter made me smile.She spends time with her cousins but it’s clear she only tolerates them as they’re not close and while they’re different from her, they’re obviously great girls with plucky personalities. The character I felt for the most however is Tom. He likes Sadie as more than a friend but she doesn’t feel the same way yet she’s aware of his adoration. Towards the beginning of the book, Tom is trying to work up the courage to tell her and to kiss her but he never quite gets there. Sadie on the other hand is quite abrupt with him and part of me couldn’t understand why he was even friends with her, she got quite stroppy with him as the story went on and Tom just put up with it.And then there’s Jacob who Sadie feels an instant attraction to but I wouldn’t call it insta-love and it doesn’t over power the story. Her attachment to him seemed to stem from wanting to be protective and it was easy to see why she liked him.Fire in the Sea combines the element of ancient mythology with an Australian setting in a captivating and thrilling way. Sadie was a strong heroine, ready and willing to do the right thing and often had to remind Jacob that one life is just as worth saving as millions. The secondary characters were just as entertaining and were ready to lend a hand. The book ran along at a decent pace, taking place over a few days, but it never felt rushed and there was plenty of time to take in all of the mythology.The only thing that stood out negatively to me was a short scene involving a dog getting smacked in the face. On inspecting Mr Freeman’s house, they meet his dog, he acts aggressively towards them, which seems realistic as they are all strangers and he’s probably been alone and unfed for two days. Sadie’s grandfather smacks it in the face and the dog retreats. I didn’t feel this was necessary at all and while I might be reacting more strongly compared to other readers, I felt the need to mention it.I found the ending to be realistic and I was quite happy with the fact that it wasn’t the predictable ending that so many paranormal YA books end up with. I appreciated the growth in both Sadie and Tom’s characters; the experience had given them both a chance to rethink their lives and changed them for the better.Fire in the Sea is a fantastic, action-packed adventure, blending the Australian setting of Perth with ancient mythology - definitely a book to check out if you’re a fan of Australian YA or paranormal stories.

  • ALPHAreader
    2019-04-22 22:59

    Sadie Miller needs to get out of Perth. This town is too small to hold her, and has too many bad memories that keep a hold of her. Like the memory of her parents’ death, and every one of her sixteen years that should have been shared with them. Instead, Sadie lives with her grandparents and keeps to her close-knit bubble of friends, including her two cousins Heather and Kimberley, and her best friend (who wants to be more), Tom.But just as Sadie starts fiercely wishing for anything to change, everything does . . .At Cottesloe beach one night, Sadie and Tom watch an old man be set-upon by two masked thugs, and Sadie steps in to help. The attackers disappear into the water, and the beaten man tells Sadie to beware of “men with wet shoes.”But the strangeness is only just beginning. It seems that the old man, a one Mr. Freeman, signed the entirety of his will and estate over to Sadie while on his deathbed – she now owns an old Gothic house and everything in it, and is tasked with taking care of the premises, including a vicious guard-dog called Kingsley.One night, in the process of guarding Mr. Freeman’s house (now hers) Sadie finds herself pinned by a shirtless, posh, sword-wielding boy demanding to know the whereabouts of the ‘relic’. Even stranger than finding this shirtless, posh, sword-wielding boy in Freeman’s abandoned house, is discovering that the same boy claims to be Mr. Freeman – Jacob ‘Jake’ Freeman. One in the same. Reincarnated. Like the Dalai Lama.Sadie wouldn’t believe all this rubbish, normally . . . but stranger things keep happening. Like Tom having a close-encounter with a horned man. Or a siren song that keeps calling from the sea, or the appearance of those men with wet feet that Mr. Freeman warned Sadie about.This really is just the beginning. And if Sadie doesn’t help the reincarnated Jake Freeman find his ‘relic’, an old wooden box worse than Pandora’s, then all hell will break loose . . . literally.Only one thing is certain – Perth just got a whole lot more interesting for Sadie Miller.Myke Bartlett’s debut novel, ‘Fire in the Sea’, was the 2011 winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing.I love an Australian young adult paranormal novel that relishes being an Australian young adult paranormal novel. Case and point – Myke Bartlett’s incredibly compelling ‘Fire in the Sea’. This novel marks the first Aussie paranormal I've read that is set in Western Australia, and makes a focal point of the City of Light, Perth. A good portion of the drama and supernatural shenanigans take place at the iconic Cottesloe Beach, with the grandiose Surf Life Saving Club in the background standing watch. It’s clear from the moment that Sadie Miller laments her Perth surroundings (dreaming of a move to Oxford or Melbourne) that Bartlett is himself well-acquainted with the teenage pastime of wishing to be ‘anywhere but here’. Sadie knocks around the beach with her friends, and rides her bike through suburban neighbourhoods, but is thoroughly sick of it all. Not only does this small town hold vastly painful memories of her dead parents, but the fact of the matter is: nothing happens . . . until a beaten old man leaves Sadie with everything, almost more than she can handle.Bartlett’s particular brand of supernatural is more like a patchwork of monsters, myths and imagination. I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything if I say that he covers a broad spectrum of paranormal from the Minotaur to sea sirens, while providing a harrowing explanation for Pompeii’s eruption and an even more chilling mystery surrounding a famous long-lost city. It’s a most peculiar mix of myth and mayhem that works brilliantly when woven by Bartlett. But what really saves ‘Fire in the Sea’ from just being a hodge-podge of fantasy is its young protagonist, Sadie Miller.We are with Sadie every step of the way – from Mr. Freeman’s attack to his seeming reincarnation to a particularly handsome young man. She is as cast adrift in the supernatural sea as readers, but her particular brand of brittle, sarcastic loyalty makes navigating Bartlett’s mythical waters so very easy (and downright enjoyable);Jake lifted the talisman from the front of his shirt. ‘This marks me as a servant of the Gods. As long as I wear it, I’ll always come back.’ ‘Good for you. So you don’t die. You don’t get old.’ Sadie looked down at the dog by his feet, the dog with the same name as countless dogs before him. She saw herself, staring at a dog, standing on grass she’d played on as a child. ‘No. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Demons, Gods. A magic box. I mean, I've never ever read Lord of the Rings. I hate all that stuff.’I loved Sadie. She’s just the sort of young heroine I love to read – she spends a good portion of the novel being scared witless, but never lets her fear get in the way of saving her friends or doing what’s right. She's quick-thinking and fierce, and just the sort of friend I'd like to have in my corner (should a Minotaur ever attack). But she’s also thoroughly relatable – combating Perth-fatigue, a best friend who wants to be more and trying not to succumb to the grief that constantly pulls at her.I really shouldn’t be so surprised that another Text Prize novel is incredible, but I am. ‘Fire in the Sea’ is a fantastic new addition to the Aussie young adult paranormal scene – set in the beautiful (if lamentably dull) city of Perth, and featuring everything from sea sirens to crazy reincarnated boys. Myke Bartlett has written a parade of paranormal creatures and a thrilling sea-depths mystery . . . I, for one, hope that this is just the first of many more novels from an interesting new Aussie YA voice.

  • Paula Weston
    2019-05-13 21:01

    This is a great read. Fast-paced, interesting characters and plenty of action and intrigue. I loved the Perth setting, the dynamic between Sadie and the people she cares about, and the brilliant way Myke Bartlett brings a fresh twist to some creepy ancient mariner myths.There's a wonderful sense of menace and mystery as this story unfolds, and the last third of Fire in the Sea in particular is an absolute page turner as Sadie races to save her city - and the world.Very pleased to hear Myke is writing a sequel. I'm keen to know what happens to Sadie and Jake next (and Tom and Kim), given there are a few loose ends still to be tied up.Favourite moment: when Kim calls the minotaur a 'cow monster'. I laughed out loud.A noteworthy addition to Australian YA adventure fiction.

  • Ernie
    2019-05-11 18:07

    Bartlett is the 2012 winner of the Text Prize for unpublished young adult manuscripts and it’s good to welcome another lively new Australian writer. He begins with that very Australian combination of a hot summer day at a Perth beach where bushfire smoke exaggerates the heat with a sense of foreboding which is quickly supported by something frightening in the water; and it’s not a shark. The action moves swiftly about Sadie, a sixteen year old whose parents have been dead for six years and who lives with her grandparents and who was enjoying that last summer holiday with her friends before the final year of school. She defends an old man who is attacked by men who perhaps were wearing demonic masks. Incredibly, his lawyer contacts her at the hospital to inform her that the man Jacob Freeman has died and bequeathed her his beachside unkempt mansion if she agrees to live there as caretaker and protect the house and its contents for 12 months, because the house has ‘unusual’ valuables, including a mysterious box with a ‘relic’. Her grandfather Stan is suspicious and forbids her to stay there. That night Sadie is alarmed by a smelly, giant intruder in her grandparents’ back yard. The intruder has a bodybuilder’s huge frame and appears to be wearing horns. Returning with her friend Tom, to the mansion next day, Sadie is shocked to find a handsome young man there who says that it’s his house and that he is the 8,000 year old reincarnation of Jacob Freeman. Sadie takes some persuading to believe him but when the intruder reappears and gores Tom in a vicious surprise attack, the lawyer is shot dead and Sadie is ‘sung’ irresistibly down to the edge of the pier where Jacob fights off three ‘Drowners’ who rise out of the sea to take her down, Sadie is convinced.The increasingly popular story line based on characters inhabiting other peoples’ bodies is here supported by the legends of Atlantis, the Minotaur and Pandora’s Box as Sadie and Jacob take up the quest to find the relic in the box to save the world from a fiery destruction. The Minotaur is the Drowners’ slave and furiously dedicated to preventing anyone from saving the relic. The action is swift and exciting with interest heightened by the contrasting realism of a typical Perth summer life. This is an engaging story for year 8 and older students.

  • Anni (Tea in the Treetops)
    2019-05-13 15:45

    Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on July 30, 2012.Sadie and her friends are suffering in the heat of a dry Fremantle summer when strange things start to appear out of the sea. Sadie jumps in when an old man is attacked and is unwittingly dragged into an ancient conflict. Now she must help the Guardians recover a powerful artefact before its too late and the wrath of the Gods is provoked.It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and read a whole book in one day, but I did just that with Fire in the Sea. With just the right amount of witty Aussie vernacular interspersed with terrifying confrontations with the enemy, this book had me hooked from start to finish.After I saw it mentioned that this book was similar to Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising sequence (one of my all-time favourites), I had to get my hands on it. I’d describe it as Over Sea, Under Stone meets Tomorrow, When the War Began - strange happenings in a seaside city, with an Aussie twist and a fair bit more violence.The characters were what really drew me into the story – the teenagers actually speak to each other like real people do and have (probably) realistic reactions to supernatural events. Also, as a breastfeeding mum I was delighted at the reference to it – not that babies make much of an appearance in fantasy generally speaking, but more boobs please!There were a couple of parts that didn’t quite make sense to me. One was that I didn’t really get how Sadie was able to get Jake to go along with her plan so easily. I mean, Jake and his team have been doing this for centuries, surely they know what they’re doing by now? Also, what happened to his medallion? Is he mortal now? At the end of the story I was left feeling a little confused as to what had happened to Jake and the rest of the squadron.I’m not sure if more books are planned to follow on in a series from Fire in the Sea, but the premise of the Gods and their Guardians was very interesting and the whole story flowed very well. I’ll be looking out for Myke Bartlett’s future works no matter what world they’re set in.

  • Sean Kennedy
    2019-05-18 20:45

    I was looking forward to this book as it is YA set in my city, but yeesh. It just seems odd that in this day and age there can be an extended gay joke running throughout a scene which seems offputting and homophobic and started by the protagonist. She tells another character that he's dressing 'gay' and has a momentary "oh I'm not homophobic but he DOES look gay" interior monologue which is then followed by the guy walking out on the street and immediately someone yelling out "FAGGGGGGGOOOOOTTT!" from a passing car.And that's it. So, the protagonist is proved right. There's no discussion. The scene ends with 'faggot' as the punchline. Is this meant to be funny? If so, guess what, using homophobia as a joke is nothing new, original or hilarious. I expect better from YA, especially from Text Publishing who usually produce great books.

  • Ameya
    2019-04-25 22:58

    I enjoyed this story, but I didn’t want to read it all night. There was an interesting protagonist in Jake, an angsty teenage girl, who doesn’t always treat her friends well, and a second male lead in Tom. Yep. There is a triangle – but not in the strictly romantic sense as Jake’s intentions are kept cloaked.There are the Gods versus the old inhabitants of Atlantis –now living under the sea, decaying and covered in verdigris, and wanting to reclaim the Earth.The best parts:1. Tight writing2. Good plotting in spurts; there is something happening on every page, and there are unexpected twists and turns. The book won the special, prestigious Text prize for YA in Australia. Maybe, it was for the tight writing and page-turner elements. 3. Interesting use of a Minotaur4. A good villainess who was out of the mainstream.The not so good parts:1. Jerky points in the plot where there was action but no tension or real outcome. An example is the pages devoted in the headquarters of the God Squad, where nothing really happened.2. What was the point of the God Squad? Their purpose fizzled out. Or maybe it wasn’t explained clearly enough for this reader.3. The purpose of the box and the demon – what was it in the end?4. What happened in the denouement? It felt flat. Where were the Gods? Are they going to make an entrance in the next instalment of the series?All in all, I found it an okay read – not a great read. However, there were gaps in the plotting. Will I read the next book? The blurb will decide it for me.

  • Sue
    2019-05-10 19:50

    Wow. This book was full of surprises. The sense of unease Myke Bartlett crafted was palpable within the first few pages. I was really scared (which I loved) right from the get go. The way he turned an idyllic seaside setting in Perth into something menacing was fantastic. Central character, Sadie, witnesses a disturbing attack on an old man who later dies. Then she finds out the old coot has left her his house and possessions in his will! "Is this a ghost story?" I wondered. As I continued to read, it became apparent that this story was about to veer in an unexpected direction. I love it when that happens to me. Instead of being embroiled in what I thought was going to be a zombie/alien/ghost scenario, Bartlett instead creates a horrific Percy Jackson flipside full of gods, demons and guardians in a pitched, bloody battle of good and evil. No spoliers but I adored the protagonist, Sadie, very much- as well as her best mate Tom who reminded me of LOTR's Sam in his devotion to Sadie. The broody, dangerous and mysterious Jake was also a delight. This was a thrilling roller coaster ride from start to finish. More please!Ages 14 & up

  • Mel Campbell
    2019-04-28 20:47

    What struck me most about Fire in the Sea was its cinematic quality. I found I could vividly imagine the action as if on a screen; it had the same sense of tension and dramatically visual approach. The action scenes were handled beautifully. I also found myself struck by the economical elegance of certain sentences and descriptions; one that sticks with me is "That bike of hers had never moved so fast." Just a simple sentence, but another author might have written, "Her bike sped down the street."In these kinds of stories, where the fantastical intrudes into the everyday, it's so easy for things to seem corny or melodramatic, but I enjoyed Bartlett's ear for the way a real teenager – and by extension, a real reader – might respond. Sadie is obviously our surrogate in the story, but for me the dialogue between the young characters rang true, and I liked the way potentially ridiculous events are defused by gentle situational humour.Looking forward to the sequel!

  • Craig Robertson
    2019-04-25 20:00

    I really enjoyed this novel. I have read several other works of Mr. Bartlett and knew him to be a superior writer. This book easily lived-up to my expectations. Mr. Bartlett creates complex characters without resorting to any off-the-shelf standard players. The story is completely original. It takes little time to become engrossed and genuinely care about the action. Best of all is Mr. Bartlett's ability to weave in the surreal and ephemeral in both the characters and the story as a whole. Strong work, sir!

  • aem
    2019-04-29 15:55

    Mystery-magic-fantasy-adventure - all the elements of a good story. I really enjoyed this book! This would make a good movie!Lysandra's, Sadie's, Jake's, Kimberly's and Heather's selfishness clearly showed as counterpoint to the later selfless acts of Sadie, Jake, Tom and even KImberly somewhat.Looking forward to a sequel for deeper character development.DISCLOSURE: received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  • Chantal
    2019-05-06 22:01

    Think Percy Jackson, but set in Australia and the Gods and Monsters battle has more substance; the characters have more depth and the battle has more meaning...internal and external.Cleverly written, highly entertaining.Suited to ages 13+

  • Pat
    2019-04-21 21:05

    Interesting combination of realism and gods, with Atlantis thrown in for good measure. I liked the Perth setting.

  • Frances Atkinson
    2019-05-11 14:53

    Enjoyed it a lot. Liked the way Myke Bartlett used Greek mythology and other legends to explore the lives of his contemporary characters. Great blend of reality/fantasy. Would happily read a sequel.

  • Rachael
    2019-05-05 16:43

    Cracking YA fantasy with one foot in a realistic suburban Perth. It's quite violent and would be scary for younger readers, but great for 13+ I'd say.

  • Isabel Robinson
    2019-05-17 14:54

    I really enjoyed this YA novel by Myke Bartlett. Particularly loved the Perth setting, and the imaginative nature of the world he created. A worthy winner of the Text Prize. Look forward to reading his next one, whenever that might be!

  • Shaheen
    2019-04-29 17:44

    A fast paced Australian debut, Fire in the Sea is an enjoyable read that I was able to finish quickly, but it left me a little disappointed and I hope there is more coming! Set in Perth and centred around the water, this book deals with Atlantis and the Minotaur – two of my favourite aspects of history and mythology. I’ve actually studied the Atlantis mythology in great detail, but I loved the unique spin Bartlett puts on it.The protagonist, Sadie, grabbed my attention from the very first page. There’s something fragile about her – she always seems to be one comment away from breaking down, many years after the death of her parents. Sadie’s grief over the death of her parents permeates all the relationships she has – from her cousins to her best friend Tom. I didn’t like the way Sadie treats him – it’s a negative, abusive relationship where Tom takes all the harsh comments and snark in stride, and never stands up for himself, which I was disappointed in. Though Tom’s strength is entirely different from Sadie’s, I think they are both awesome individuals.Sadie lives with her grandparents, and both of them are caring people who I loved from the moment I met them. Unlike the situation in many other YA novels, this book doesn’t have any uncaring or neglectful authority figures – everyone around Sadie loves her and only wants what’s best for her.Fire in the Sea offers a whirlwind adventure with an Australian twist, with plenty of action and mystery thrown in to keep readers engaged. A fresh twist in the usual sea-themed myths, this book focusses on the destruction of a city a long time ago, and the revenge a Priestess wishes to extract on the Guardians who brought it about. Sadie meets Jake, a Guardian and the leader of a Guardian crew, charged with protecting the world from the wrath of the Priestess. I really enjoyed the lead up to the final show down between the two groups, but was disappointed in how it played out in the end.I felt disconnected from the action and couldn’t really summon up the sympathy I knew I was meant to. A part of this has to do with my view that Sadie was incredibly selfish in wanting Jake to save her friends, her family and her city, risking the fate of the entire world. I understand what she wanted, and why, and I empathise with her. I just feel that Jake made all the sacrifices in their dynamic and in the end Sadie was left pretty much unchanged and unharmed. There are also lots of questions that are brought up in the book but go unanswered – I hope that these are addressed in the sequel.Myke Bartlett is an author to watch – Fire in the Sea is an impressive debut and I’m looking forward to seeing his writing evolve in the future. Fans of Australian literature, especially Australian Fantasy, will enjoy this book a lot, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh, quick YA read.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.

  • Marie
    2019-04-29 14:53

    Fire in the Sea jumps right into the action. I read this on my Kindle, I believe I was at 2% when the first mysterious creature from the sea makes an appearance. From that moment on, stranger and stranger things keep happening to Sadie. I admired how the author allowed Sadie to recognize that all of the events occurring in Perth are absolutely ridiculous and hard to believe, while still having Sadie roll with the punches, so to say, and take an active part in deciding her fate. For example, the synopsis mentions that there's a horned beast running rampant in Perth: unbelievable, right? Just an escaped bull or something, right? NOPE. Not only does Sadie quickly come to terms with the fact there's a beast on the loose, she quickly makes decisions to fight to protect her friends and family. She's never afraid to stand up for herself and her family. Even though Jake is really cute and she's feeling him, she doesn't hesitate to tell him off when she perceives that he's committed a wrong. As the action builds and builds toward an epic finale, Sadie continues to be true to herself, her values, and her family.I'm sitting here in America reading and reviewing this book, so the Australian author and setting were also bonuses for me. When you read books by international authors, do you hear that country's accent in your head as you read? I do, and I really enjoyed listening to the Australian teens! There were, of course, just a few slang terms that I wasn't familiar with, but nothing that context clues didn't help me decipher.While Sadie was an incredibly dynamic character, and the plot was super exciting, I had a bit of trouble connecting to the secondary characters. Sadie's cousins are just barely better than stereotypes, and her grandparents are walking talking cut-outs. (Her grandfather's a conspiracy theory war vet and grandma is constantly cheerfully offering everyone tea after coming in from the garden.) At the end of the book a few final pieces fall into place and a few people gain a little more dimensionality, but not enough to be truly thoroughly 3D.I suppose that's ok, because the reader is really consumed with all the action packed into this book! I don't think I went more than 3 pages ever without some big fight happening or decision being made. The mystery of the creatures from the sea, the horned beast, and Jake all unfold at a good pace: it's never too slow/bogged down, or too fast to keep up with, and it's spread evenly through the book. The finale really fits in nicely; there was a good build-up to it, so it didn't happen out of thin air, and the ending wasn't obvious, so it was definitely a page-turner!Overall, I'd give Fire in the Sea 3.5-4 stars. Can't quite make up my mind. Loved the action and the main character; struggled with the secondary characters. Maybe there'll be a sequel someday that fleshes them out more!

  • Nisma
    2019-04-30 20:43

    I understand why Sadie is described as the 'Australian Katniss Everdeen' - they have a very similar personality. Um, an unlikeable one. She may have that 'strength' at times to rush headlong into a crisis and save people, but she can be so, I don't know, bitter, angry, even selfish. And I didn't like the way she treated others.Also, (view spoiler)[the sort of romance with Jake was creepy. At least, her unconscious crush on him was. Come on. This is an Edward Cullen crisis here. Sure, Jake ain't THAT old, but he fought in the same war besides her grandfather. (hide spoiler)] It's creepy. Okay?!But if you just take that away, everything else was awesome. Action packed, spine tingling, kind of random and crazy, fast pace, and there's always something that's keeping you on edge. Besides Sadie, most of the characters were amazing in their own right. And the ending too - I like that despite Sadie's crush, they didn't get to hold hands and skip off into the sunset. I like that Tom grows a bit of a spine, but he doesn't turn into an immediate Prince Charming. I like that Kim and Heather played a slightly more important role and have their characters a little fleshed out, but not so much that they too turn into perfectly noble people. It was just well balanced, you know?So fun read (: Can't wait to see what the next book holds. And okay, writing all that makes me think 3.5 stars.

  • Selma
    2019-04-28 22:46

    I recieved this book for free through goodreads first reads. This book never had me bored! I was leaping from page to page with anticipation.Sadie's life is boring, until she witnesses something come out of the sea. Her life gets turned upside down when a stranger leaves all his possesions to her in his will including his huge old house. Later, a young man named Jacob arrives claiming he's the owner of the house and wants it back. Things get even more dangerous when Sadie's friend Tom it hunted by a terrifying creature of the night. Sadie soon learns of an ancient telic that can cause the destruction of all man kind, and in the wrong hands will do just that. But the problem is that the has been stolen, and Jake needs Sadie's help in recovering the relic.Soon its a very dangerous and exciting race against time to save the world.Throughout the book the charachters go through their own change as a person, and come to realize and accept themselves.

  • Nedge
    2019-05-12 17:47

    A reasonably amusing quick read, but I couldn't get past a number of plot weaknesses and the stereotypical characters (the EMO, the bimbo, etc). The Greek mythological theme was poor - referring to nebulous "Gods", and including Atlantis and a minataur does not really cut it for me. If authors borrow themes/ideas from the past, I'd like them to be well researched and adding to the depth of the text. Hollywood has done Atlantis and minataurs to death. At least the Drowners were original. I liked the identifiable Perth settings, but that doesn't excuse the author from jumping on the popularist YA bandwagon. This book will not stick in my memory for long.NB. Read this while sick with fever, so it is possible I may have missed something...

  • Samantha-Ellen Bound
    2019-05-03 21:04

    Fire in the Sea is an exciting mish-mash of ideas – Greek god mythology, adventure quest, time travel, drowned city dystopia, contemporary coming-of-age story. It is exciting to me that an author can make a story like this and set it in a very recognisable Perth. I really admire the scope and imagination of Fire in the Sea, and I think for the most part it all works together in an intriguing and cohesive way.Would actually give it 3 1/2 stars.Full review at:

  • Vanessa
    2019-04-30 21:03

    Looked down and found myself at p.100 without realising I've read so much... I found myself drawn to the main character and it was so pleasing to read a female perspective without her sound whining, over-analytical or dull. She sounded like a teenage girl but one who got on with things. Her voice didn't feel false which considering an older man wrote her... is great. I wasn't sure what to expect so to be swept along into the story (which became progressively more annoying) was due in main part to her.

  • Jen
    2019-04-19 19:08

    Disappointing novel, too much plot and not enough character development. Sadie becomes mixed up in a the plotting of the old gods to resurrect themselves by obtaining a sacred relic that will give them ultimate power. The atlantis myth is part of this plus the mysterious Jake, who can live forever by swapping bodies. Set in Perth of all places!

  • Nikayla Bryant
    2019-04-23 16:01

    This is a great read. It is fast-paced, the characters are relatable, the plot is entertaining. Australia has one great writer in Myke Bartlett. I loved the way he spins the story around nautical myths and an intriguing plot line. Excellent book.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-20 23:05

    Rating: 3.5. Review to come.

  • Stephi ♥
    2019-04-22 20:08


  • Lynn ಠ_ಠ
    2019-05-18 23:04

    I hope this will be picked up by a US/UK pub. It sounds fantastic and I really want to read it. o__O