The Phantom Island series has been one of my favorites since I read Wind the first time. So it's no surprise that I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Watercrossing, the third book of the series.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Summer at Camp Fusion is rapidly coming to a close for Whitnee and her best friends, Morgan and Caleb. Working as mentors for troubled preteens all summer would have been adventurous enough, but discovering a secret portal on the forbidden side of the Frio River turned their idea of reality upside down. Now the three friends are determined to find a way back to the magical White Island in the hopes of recovering Whitnee's missing father and setting things right once and for all. However, the journey back is complicated—especially since Morgan is hiding a terrible secret and Caleb is looking less like a best friend and more like a potential boyfriend. Whitnee is determined to stay focused this time and not get distracted, especially by a certain someone, but she is completely unprepared for the moment she enters again into a deadly game of control on the Island. Can Whitnee navigate her way through the danger and survive the lies that threaten the people she loves?
More Whitnee, Morgan, Caleb, and Gabriel? Yes, please!
What I Liked: 1) I love these characters like they're family. Krissi Dallas is one of THE BEST when it comes to creating rich, loveable characters with dynamic stories and well-developed lives. And what I love about it is that it isn't just our MC that we learn so much about - you get to know the other supporting characters very well also. Gabriel, my imaginary boyfriend, is the one we know the least about, but for good reason. He's supposed to be more of a mystery. In Watercrossing, we do get to know some more about him though, including one bit of information that made me think, "geez, I knew he was too good to be true." No worries though. I still love him. 2) Caleb. I want to talk specifically about this guy for a minute. I liked Caleb well enough in the two Wind books. Caleb is loveable in a...boy next door kind of way, whereas Gabriel is the guy I want bringing me drinks with little umbrellas. But Caleb definitely ups his game in this book. He gets a little cockier, and that makes him all the more appealing to me. But I'm not jumping the Gabriel ship just yet. 3) Alternating perspective. The first two books were told from the POV of Whitnee only. But in this one, we get some alternating POV with one of the other characters. I'm not going to reveal who, because I want everyone to be pleasantly surprised, but I will say that it's great to delve a little deeper into the mindset of this person. I felt that it opened up my eyes to some other ideas about Camp Fusion, and the Island. Whitnee *SPOILER ALERT* kind of views the Island as a second home, not like she is a visitor or outsider. She is desperate to drink in all the knowledge about this place that is a part of her heritage. This other character sees the Island differently, because they don't feel that connection. I'm glad we got this other POV, it opens up new ideas for the reader about the Island. 4) The map! A map of the Island was included in Watercrossing. It was beautifully drawn, and a great addition. Being able to see the Island, how it's apportioned, and where everything is located definitely helps in understanding the travels that Whitnee and her friends take both in Watercrossing, and the preceding books! 5) When I read the first two books, the Island became this serene place that I'd love to vacation. We began learning about the culture, customs and politics briefly in the Wind books. We get a much more in depth look at particularly the politics of the region. There are some darker parts of the Island, and sinister people who are making the Island not such a happy place. It brought a new dimension to the plot and took the books to the next level.
What I Didn't Like: As usual, I have more questions after the end of the book. Isn't that how it's supposed to be with a series, though? There were two things in particular about the ending that distressed me (mostly because, like I said, I love these characters so much), but I have faith. Krissi hasn't let me down yet!
Overall Thoughts: I could not have asked for a better continuation of one of my favorite series. Watercrossing adds a darker dimension to a story that's already come alive though lively characters and an intriguing plot. For fans of fantasy, this series is one that should already be on your shelves. The Phantom Island books will intrigue and excited you, give you characters to hate and to love, and a setting that you'll want to escape to every chance you get. I can't wait for my next trip to the Island!
My Rating: 5 shots