This is the story of a young boy. His father went off to sea and never came back so he goes to the beach every night with his uncle to see if he has come home. One evening he takes his neighbours dog for a walk and meets an odd gentleman up a tree. He is 7 feet tall and has eyes that are different colours, that also change with his mood. Thus begins an adventure that involves pirates, spy catchers, Eddies (whirlpools), Great Chiefs, volcanoes, enormous sea monsters and of course the Great Doom Bird of the title. I shan't say any more for fear of spoiling it.
I so enjoyed this. It put me in mind of Lemony Snicket (but better if I do dare to say!). Stultus (the odd guy) reminds me of Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. He is this larger than life (literally!) chap with a personality that just jumps off the page at you. Patrick starts off as a quiet shy little boy who becomes a confident young man. Their quest to save the Doom Birds is an admirable (if fraught) one and anyone interested in conservation will appreciate it.
I recommend this for people of all ages. It is simply a lovely story, with enough action to keep everyone interested.