“Aloft and Alow” is the second novel in The Mason Key series by David Folz. The adventure begins with John Mason aboard a British tall ship that is engaged in battle with a much larger French ship. Through cunning and ingenuity John and another mate are able to board the French vessel and capture it empty. Then with only the two of them and an injured mate they must sail this large ship through a hurricane.
They soon discover they are not alone on the ship and enlist the help of the young female stowaway and her seedy companion. The storm is too much for them and the ship and John and Marie end up stranded on a deserted island. As they make the best of their situation the Mason Key that John has been entrusted with reveals its 2nd secret.
This is really well written story. I think it would be helpful to have read the first novel. I wasn’t really clear on the whole Mason Key thing, although it wasn’t (or didn’t seem to me to be) key to the story. The first part of the story took place on the ship and there was a lot of terminology I wasn’t familiar with and got a bit bogged down there even though it was exciting. Once Marie and John found themselves on the island it was much easier reading and the story was quite compelling.
As far as the characters, of course John and Marie were the most developed. They are both only about 14 and sometimes it was hard to remember that by the things they were doing. The villains in the story were well fleshed out and believable.
Overall it’s a good read if you are into historical, high seas adventures with some mystical elements.