From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-This installment in the series is not Jacques at his best. It is 1628, and Ben and his dog, Ned, have been charged by an angel to wander the world helping people. To aid them, they have been given the ability to communicate telepathically. Early in the book they point out to a French buccaneer, Raphael Thuron, that the Spanish pirate with whom he is gambling is cheating. After that, the captain keeps them close, for luck, as his ship, La Petite Marie, races away from the Spanish ship as well as an English privateer. Their story ends, at least for now, on a beach with a priest who is conveniently the younger brother of the now dead Thuron. When Ben presents him with the pirate captain's ill-gotten gains, the priest's days of worry about his "children" and the parish are ended. Another adventure, set in the mountains, is sandwiched in between the tavern in Cartagena and the beach. With the exception of the English privateer, the characters lack a distinctive voice, and the constant and secret wisecracking between Ben and Ned gets a little annoying. In addition, Jacques, who is usually so good with setting a scene and putting readers right into it, fails to capture life on a ship. There are guest appearances by the Flying Dutchman to add a level of spookiness, and the plot is almost nonstop action, with lots of swordplay, an avalanche, and a shark attack. A book for fans of the first "Dutchman" title.Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-9. In this sequel to Castaways of the Flying Dutchman
(2001), Ben and his black Labrador pal, Ned, continue their travels after an angel rescues them from the evil crew of the ship The Flying Dutchman.
As with the first book, this novel is divided into two nearly separate stories. The first plops the heroes into seventeenth-century Caribbean waters, teaming them with Captain Thuron, a valiant French buccaneer. This adventure comes to an abrupt end with Thuron's death, and Ben and Ned soon find themselves allied with new compatriots in an attempt to rescue a young man from the Razan, a tribe well versed in the black arts who live high in the Pyrenees. Although the heroes usually escape from tight spots through fortuitous accidents or divine intervention rather than clever plot twists, Jacques has still come up with another page-turner. Readers who enjoyed the first book will find this sequel even more exciting. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved