The Beast of Cretacea is a book about a seventeen year old boy named Ishmael. All his life he has lived in Black Range on Earth. But now, he has signed up for a job somewhere else in the galaxy. He doesn't even know exactly where he is going; all he knows is that whatever job he gets will pay better than a job there on earth. When he arrives, he finds himself with four other kids about the same age as himself. They are greeted by a lady named Charity, who explains to them that they are on the planet Cretacea and they will be working on a ship called the Pequod. Charity shows them around, and the next day brings them to the galley, where she says they will be working for most of their time. The kids keep the same job for a while and finally get a chance to train for the most dangerous but best paying job on the ship--gathering dangerous creatures to send back to Earth. The third mate takes them out on a chase boat to train to be a chase boat crew. Their training goes well and the third mate thinks they will make a good crew. Around the ship, however, Ishmael hears mutterings about a creature that is too big to comprehend. What is this creature and what does it have to do with anything? Find out in this reimagined adventure of Moby Dick!
I thought that The Beast of Cretacea was a great book. I liked the way the author, Todd Strasser, described the characters and the different worlds. Also, I thought that most of the characters were believable, in the sense that they could easily be alive and real. A part in the book that I thought was funny was when, on the first day, Charity told the kids not to eat too much because their stomachs hadn’t adjusted and they would puke it up if they did. Well, one of the kids didn’t listen and spent the whole night in the bathroom throwing up. One of the things that I liked and didn’t like about this book was that a lot of the characters used lots of sailor and pirate talk. This made a lot of their sentences hard to understand, but it added a lot more authenticity. Another thing that I didn't like about this book was that it felt like the ending was a bit rushed. The way it was starting to go I was wondering if there would be a book two, but it finished in ten pages. If the author had given it fifteen pages more or so, it would have made for a better ending and could have answered the rest of my questions. I would recommend this book to ages eleven and up, or to anyone who is a fan of Moby Dick.