Kid’s Book Review: The Voyage of Sam Singh

Kid’s Book Review: The Voyage of Sam Singh

About the Book and Author

Sam Singh, who lives in the fictional land of Indica, alternate colonial India, is a shrewd and guileful land pirate who has lost his beloved brother Moon to the ravenous and malicious waves. No one knows where he is, and Sam fears the worst has happened. He believes Moons has been transported to The Octopus, the deadliest prison in all of Indica. It’s a sleek, metallic building with eight long, tenacious tentacles waiting to snatch up another unsuspecting prisoner.

After turning down everything else, he has managed to find a job that will take him to the Isle of Lost Voices, where the prison is and where he meets his new friend Lola. He has decided to work for Professor Bogusz, the collector, as a servant boy who speaks five languages.

Terrified but resolute, he sets out on an intrepid journey to find his lost loved brother as he steps aboard the Yellow Pearl, a ship that will take him one step closer to his brother but one step further from his home. Will he manage to find his brother and solve the mystery in time?

Gita Ralleigh is a medical doctor who studied for an MA in Creative Writing and has published short stories and two poetry books. The Destiny of Minou Moonshine is her debut children’s novel. She lives in London and teaches creative writing to undergraduates at Imperial College.

Book Review

A delightful and thought-provoking read in every way

I was very excited when I realised that Minou Moonshine characters were back to support Sam in this masterpiece of storytelling. This book took me on an unforgettable voyage with Sam as I sailed the tempestuous seven seas with the salty air whipping my hair, hunted pigs and gathered jewel bright berries in the verdant green forests and chatted by the firelight with the tribal people.

It also gave me a glimpse into our colonial past; full of people hungry for the weakened blood of the weeping people and I found it really unfair that the collector was stealing languages like the oppressors of the past who took because they could. I found it appalling and confusing that he said that he will be the first man to venture that deep into the Isle while the guides came from a tribe that already lived within the forests. It is disheartening that the collector thought only he was a man and the others were feral animals.

I thought the dichotomy between Lola and Sam’s poor life in the forest where they had to survive on the foods that they got there and the collector’s plain sailing life with everything served on a silver platter was utterly unfair and infuriating. I feel livid at whoever started the inequality that this story really emphasises.

Sam was intrepid, brave and courageous. From battling deadly pirates to stabbing a saltwater crocodile in the eye, he stubbornly never stops his relentless search for his lost brother. Suka, Sam’s talking parrot who can speak five languages, hovers above him likes a cloud of excitement and elation. I always loved bits where Suka would repeat words in all five languages and I found it ingenious. I love how he speaks Hindi like me.

In contrast, Lola is kind, adventurous and innovative and slowly warms up to Sam, filling the empty space in his heart. From racing up the jagged clifftops, to submerging herself underwater, Lola is always doing something exciting and bold. She is my favourite character.

Readers plunge into the fantastical world of Sam Singh where spirit roams the land, clifftops rise against the water and the faint scent of the colonial past lurks inconspicuously in the red-flowering paulownia. To summarise, it is a delightful and thought-provoking read in every way. This book could never be improved.

I would recommend it to fans of mystery, adventure and jeopardy twisted into one big plait. If you liked ‘The Destiny of Minou Moonshine’ then I guarantee this is going to be your new favourite book.


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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Radhika
  • Age: 9 years
  • Likes: Acting, guitar, maths, daydreaming and gymnastics
  • Dislikes: Eating, running and loud noises
  • Favourite Book: Pages & Co by Anna James
  • Favourite Film: I Don't Like You by Taylor Swift
  • Favourite Song: Descendants