About Me

My photo
I'm a mommy, wife, chauffeur, zookeeper, reader and book reviewer

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pirates: The Midnight Passage by James R. Hannibal

I've been reading a few books over the past month. Island Ghost by Janet Randall (circa 1970) was a nice little adventure for girls. I didn't get past the first chapter of The Secret of Crossbone Hill by Wilson Gage (circa 1960). Then I enjoyed The Adventures of Long John Silver by Denis Judd which is a prequel to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Honestly, this was all just killing time until I could get my hands on Pirates: The Midnight Passage by James R. Hannibal. It is a good old fashioned adventure that changed my view of pirates. When I thought of pirates, I thought of swashbuckling sword fights and murderous captains. No more. I have since discovered that Long John Silver didn't enjoy killing. Even Blackbeard asked permission before commanding a ship and its crew.

Jim Thatcher was different still. He valued life far above gold doubloons. He only killed for self-defense and when no other option was available. His first loyalty was to the crown of England, though that loyalty was shaken when the crown refused to recognize the letters of marque of the privateers. It was then that the lost treasure of Captain Morgan appealed to Captain Thatchr so that he and his men could buy their pardons and redeem their reputations before the crown.

Obtaining the map to the lost treasure was only the beginning of many deadly dangers that Jim Thatcher and the crew of the Adventure must survive. Underground water ways, strange gases, ancient puzzles, strange riddles, and forgotten civilizations await this band of pirates.

James R. Hannibal does a great job of describing the action. You'll swear you can see the gold glitter, hear the wind and water, feel the fire, and smell the ... you'll have to read it for yourself. What a thrill ride! Incredible! Suspenseful, vivid, humorous ... Pirates : The Midnight Passage is like a cross between National Treasure and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adventures in Odyssey: Strange Journey Back by Paul McCusker

In my quest to research children's Christian sci-fi stories, I ordered a four-books-in-one Adventures in Odyssey. It appears to have been originally published in the 70's. Have you ever read one of those books that had a good beginning, a slow middle, and a good ending? This isn't one of those. In my opinion, this book was a bit depressing. It opens with ten-year-old Mark Prescott trying to settle into a new town--Odyssey. He and his mom moved because his dad walked out on them. Mark deals with the town bully and meets John Whittaker--the owner of Whit's End ice cream shop and a quirky inventor.

I understand that divorce is an issue that kids deal with, but I wonder if it could have been dealt with differently in the book or balanced out with something. I think the adventures in the book are too short. Little resolution is offered for any of the problems presented. Potential subplots are introduced, but the story ends too quickly and I'm not sure I am interested in reading the sequel.