This second Christian suspense book in the " Cooper Kids Adventures" series by Frank E. Peretti is published by Good News Publishers, Crossway Books.
Escape From the Island of Aquarius is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
A dead man is found floating in the South Pacific with a medallion from the island of Aquarius. The note in his pocket triggers the International Missionary Alliance to hire the Cooper family to investigate the possibility that their missionary to this island is still alive. When the Coopers find the island, they also discover that the missionary, Adam MacKenzie, is no longer a man of God. He tells the investigators that a strange curse or power by the name of Moro-Kunda rules the island. They hear strange chants in the night and see first-hand a man who appears to have been cursed.
As the Coopers are making their way back to their boat to leave, they find a pit with altars. MacKenzie finds them on the sacred ground and tells them that they are under the curse. They are put in a hut only to discover that the cause of the curse is not supernatural but rather spiders that have deadly bites. The Coopers escape only to be found by MacKenzie, again. He sends Jay and Dr. Cooper down into a watery whirlpool and puts Lila in a sacrificial pit. Jay and Dr. Cooper are rescued by someone who claims to be the real Adam MacKenzie. He tells them that he lives underground in a cavern and explains that the island is sinking.
The quaking and shaking of the island picks up as they make their way back to the sacrificial pit to find Lila. Unbeknownst to them, Lila was saved at the last minute by a native named Candle. Meanwhile, Dr. Cooper finds Lila's necklace and blood in the pit and goes to confront the fake MacKenzie, whose real name is Kelno. As the island starts to break apart, Adam extends an invitation to the villagers to board his boat. The group makes it to the boat only to find the water is too high to leave the cavern. Adam and Dr. Cooper make sure everyone aboard the boat knows Jesus.
From where she is, Lila gets the idea to set off explosives to lower the water level inside the cavern so Adam's Ark can escape. The explosives lower the water level, and the ark is able to go out to sea. Lila is saved, as is Candle and various other islanders that are floating in the water. Kelno does not make it, and soon the island is engulfed in water and disappears before their eyes.
The Cooper family displays a strong belief in God. Even though they question God during difficult times, they do not lose faith in Him. As Lila is bound and being lowered into a serpent's pit, she continues to cry out to God, who gives her His peace. When Dr. Cooper believes that Kelno has killed Lila, he attempts to take revenge. In the middle of his anger, he realizes what he is doing and backs off. He tells Kelno and reminds himself that he and his children belong to God. The real Adam MacKenzie also displays strong Christian beliefs. Even though he was thrown into the watery chasm with the thought that he would die, he doesn't and forgives those who have wronged him. Then daily he prays for the salvation and the physical health of the people in the village. He is quick to help and to share the Gospel.
Other Belief Systems
Kelno and his followers' beliefs are Satanic. They believe in such rituals as fire walking and human and animal sacrifices. They use these sacrifices to appease the island gods. Kelno commands the other villagers to bow down to him. While the villagers are confused by the earthquakes and by what the Coopers and Adam are telling them, Kelno reminds them that they can save the island. Their god within is all they need to save themselves and the island. He is convinced of his own deity and is surprised when the island does not obey his command to stop quaking. He is also surprised when a large serpent is not intimidated by his presence.
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Readability Age Range
8 to 12
Frank E. Peretti
Good News Publishers, Crossway Books