Andee the Aquanaut series
by S J House
Readership: middle grade
Synopsis for Book One: Guardian of the Great Seas
This is a story of high adventure under the low seas, as one extraordinary boy finds his destiny. The forces of evil are gathering to take control of the ocean’s underworld. Only one boy and his unique marine friends can stop them. Andee the Aquanaut becomes the greatest eco-warrior of all time.
Andee is a curious and spirited boy living on an island. His parents, marine biologists, search the reef for new sea-life that could cure illnesses. Andee befriends two young dolphins, Tingo and Tango. One day a terrifying storm rips across the island and waves pull Andee out to sea. In their dinghy, his parents are lost forever. Tingo and Tango save Andee and he becomes a member of their dolphin family. Little does he know, however, he is the Chosen One.
Exploring the sunken Lost City, Andee meets the Wise White Dolphin. Special powers are given to him, allowing him to become one of the great and legendry Aquanauts of the Marine Kingdom. Wearing his magical Aquanaut suit, Andee can breathe underwater, dive to great depths, and speed through the currents. He courageously uses his powers to daringly rescue and save endangered marine life, including dolphins, turtles and manta rays, from fishermen and poachers. The Wise White Dolphin mentors him, and he learns to talk to the jellyfish which can communicate over vast distances.
But Andee misses his parents very much. The Wise White Dolphin gives him a locket that his mother wore, and Andee sets out on a quest to find them. He’s also found an ancient tooth; the key to a dangerous world. Using the tooth to open a submerged door, Andee is sucked into a vortex that whirls him to great depths where he’s attacked by a sea monster.
His seemingly lifeless body is saved by Yolanda, princess of the merpeople. She takes him to her castle where he revives and meets Yolanda’s formidable step-mother, the evil Zadora. As Yolanda’s father, the king, lies dying, Zadora plots to usurp the throne from Yolanda. A water spirit tells the princess and Andee how the treasures of the Lost City were stolen, and are now stored in the castle. Andee still wants to find his parents, but now has a new mission: to return the treasures to the Lost City, reversing the greed of the merpeople, so that balance can be restored in the oceans of the world.
However, the greedy Zadora is plotting to do the exact opposite: to loot and plunder the oceans for gain. Who will win this epic struggle; and will Andee even survive against the terrifying power of the evil mer queen? Will he ever find his parents, and will he one day return to his true love, Yolanda?
Targeted Age Group:: Middle grade
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Being a keen surfer and loving the ocean I wanted to write about a character that was not only entertaining but also educated children about marine eco-systems. The fast-paced adventures instil the value of believing in oneself and working to save the marine environment.
Andee is a human boy given magical powers to breathe underwater, talk to jellyfish, and protect the oceans from harm. Andee is an eco-warrior, saving manta rays, turtles, and even cruise ship passengers from drowning.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Characters just pop into my head when I am going about the most mundane tasks of daily life, that's when I get my best character ideas, but with Andee, I wanted to create a new action superhero under the water and just started to sketch out ideas on paper as to how Andee would look, and then upon writing chapters on the story that's when he really came to life, as to what his suite would look like and the superpowers he would have, he just kept evolving over time until book one was finally finished, and then the final Andee was born through the imagination of the story.
It was another clear and sunny day out there on the island.
Peter and Pauline were marine biologists working on the island's reef, taking samples from sea-sponges and other ocean fungi in their endeavors to find new medicines and cures for modern day illnesses, so as to make a difference to the world.
They had a child called Andee who was born on the island.
Andee would enjoy long sunny days, playing on the sandy beach while his parents were working hard in their laboratory. Little did they know that Andee had made some friends out there on the island; two young dolphins he had named Tingo and Tango.
Tingo and Tango would come up to the water’s edge while Andee was playing on the beach. They’d call out to him to play and Andee would clap with delight then run up and down the sand as Tingo and Tango mimicked his movements from in the water. What fun they’d have on those long and glorious summer days.
As soon as Mum and Dad would appear, the dolphins would duck down and swim away out of sight. Andee would giggle to himself. Mum and Dad always thought Tingo and Tango were imaginary friends!
“Where are they, darling?” they’d say. “We've never seen them.”
“Look!” Andee would insist. “Over there, look!”
But Mum and Dad would laugh and say, “Come on, Andee, it’s time for dinner. Let's all go inside.”
Not far from the water’s edge, Peter and Pauline had built a fine beach-house out of bamboo. Andee loved to lie in the hammock on the deck and look up at the stars, and out into space before he fell asleep.
“Morning, Andee,” Mum said. “It’s time to get up now.”
It was another beautiful day with a light easterly breeze blowing in. Andee sat up and gazed out to the ocean, watching the sun glistening on top of the water.
What an amazing way to wake up, Mum thought as she handed Andee his usual breakfast of bananas and fish.
Mom said, “We're going out in the boat today, Andee, just around the outskirts of the reef where you’ll be able to see us from the shore. We won't be too long, honey. Dad seems to think he's found a new species of sea urchin, and he’s very excited about it! Just be sure to play around by the shoreline so we can keep an eye on you, okay?”
Andee nodded because his mouth was full of banana. He was used to his parents spending their days on the water. Sampling sea sponges and other ocean fungi, they searched for cures for illnesses, and hoped to be part of medical breakthroughs.
“Morning, Andee,” Dad shouted from beneath the dinghy he was carrying on his head. “How are you this morning?”
“Great, Dad!” said Andee as Dad walked off to the water with just his feet and legs visible.
“Now remember what I said, Andee. Just stay on the beach where we can see you, okay?”
“Okay, Mom,” said Andee. Mom and Dad put on their scuba gear and started to row out in the dinghy. Mom gave one last wave as they moved across the reef and into the sparkling ocean swells.
Andee loved what his parents did and couldn’t wait until he was older so he, too, could go out in the boat and experience the reef and all its treasures.
He sat dreaming for a bit then ran down the sand to the water’s edge to play—just as Mom had instructed. Soon Andee’s friends, the young dolphins he called Tingo and Tango, appeared.
Andee clapped and cheered as they swam up and down, clowning around as usual. How they made him laugh; jumping out of the water, clapping their fins, and smiling with their mouths wide open. Andee paddled in just a little way so that he could pat and stroke their heads. Tango sprayed Andee with his breather-hole which made him laugh and run back to the shoreline.
However, while all of this was happening, Andee hadn’t noticed that the sky was changing and dark clouds were rolling in.
Andee looked up as a strong wind came gusting across the sand. He looked out to sea and noticed that the waves were rising … higher and higher. The sea was rolling onto the beach and the waves smashed onto the sand. Mom and Dad were nowhere to be seen. Andee looked and looked but couldn’t see the dinghy.
He looked for his friends, Tingo and Tango. Where are they? he thought? They, too, had vanished. Suddenly there was a loud crack of thunder overhead, followed by a flicker of lightning. The whole island lit up. Andee was terrified. The sky grew darker and darker still, and the ocean rose higher than ever before.
Another louder crash of thunder sounded, this time directly above him. Its shield of lightning etched itself across the sky, showing Andee the destruction of the island. Trees bent and broke in the wind; the bamboo beach house was hidden by flying spray from the waves. Andee yelled in terror for his parents.
In moments the light was gone and Andee could no longer see.
The ocean was completely engulfing the island. Andee was swept off his feet. The beach-house was smashed into bits, along with the laboratory and all the family’s belongings.
Andee was tossed and turned as if he were inside a washing machine. He was thrashed around and around, side to side, and up and down like a rag doll. He couldn’t hold his breath any longer. His lungs were going to burst any second!
And then he passed out.
From out of the blackness of the churning sea, a dolphin appeared … and then another. The two dolphins held onto Andee and raced off into the deep dark ocean.
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