In The Lost Ones by Carl Lakeland, the USS John Steinbeck supposedly destroyed by the Japanese 150 years ago is, in fact, abandoned in Antarctica. One of the surviving descendants, Richard ‘Ditch’ Gabriel, knows that with the nuclear reactor losing power, there will be no electricity or means of heat when the months of blackout arrive. His only means of survival is to escape with his family to Australia. The plan does not go as anticipated and Richard is plunged into a world of legend and a search for treasure while trying to elude capture by the notorious and savage clan known as the ‘Takers’. Ditch and his friends have little time to find the Angel Of Bunjil and the Sacred Bones and return them to their rightful owners as the Takers are closing in.
The author has a masterful skill in creating a story with intrigue and suspense from the first chapter. His characters jump out of the pages and their personality flaws make them even more realistic. The relationship between Ditch and his brother, and also the wonderful character of Captain Henry Bass was so endearing. The conflicts in the plot really keep you wondering what catastrophes await Ditch; the tension and excitement are endless, making this a novel hard to put down. The subplot involving Michael was equally as strong and captivating. Although the story is set on the high seas in a time and place unknown, the concepts of friendships, values and morals are so relatable. Ditch is faced with many dilemmas and hard choices throughout and it is hard not to ponder what you would do in a similar situation.