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Castigo Cay Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The premise of this story is as old as the ages: a damsel is in distress and a knight on a white horse (or in this case a schooner) comes to her rescue. What makes this book a bit different from the rest is the backdrop of the Caribbean islands and the near-future distress of the United States' economic and political situations.
The hero and his crew are well drawn, and each is a unique character with an unusual background. In future installments of this series, I'd like to see these backgrounds explored more, perhaps showcasing events from their pasts that intersect with Kilmer and his schooner for more adventures. There is a lot of material there to mine for future swashbuckling adventure and thriller stories. I especially liked the fact that this was a team effort by them all rather than by an invincible solo operator who never fails or takes a misstep.
The bad guy characters are so excruciatingly evil, the reader has no trouble cheering on the good guys each step of the way. Oddly enough, the one character who was supposed to be a sympathetic character, Cori, the distressed damsel, was one I did not like as I found her to be spoiled and whiny.
There were a few spots in the story where the action got bogged down a bit in the details, but for the most part, it was one nail-biting situation and onto another.
Recommended as a high-action adventure with lots of future possibilities for the characters in new installments to come.
So what's my problem - how come 3 stars? Mr. Bracken is highly knowledgeable about firearms, explosives, etc (as you might expect given his ex-military, special ops background), and he is also pretty much a libertarian conservative. There's lots to like about libertarianism, but... His books are peppered with liberal doses of technical and political monologues by his characters. I get the feeling that Bracken is trying to impart info near and dear to him. IMO it drags everything (e.g., the story) to a stop. It recalls Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged - enthusiastically panned by critics as preachy and down right dull (despite the book becoming a cult classic). In this case, I found myself skipping more and more pages as I tried to get back to the story line.
Looking forward to his next novel and hoping for less of the dense stuff. Other than that, Bracken rocks!!
Kilmer believes one keeps his promises or doesn't call oneself a man. Even if it is hard and takes sacrifice. He never forgot the saintly Marian who died ignominiously in Iraq, out of reach of any rescue. He feels responsible for Cori, and therefore undertakes an impossible mission without any second thought. He is an engaging, likable, and manly hero. Don't worry, the three female leads are strong and (except for Cori) intelligent women.
The "princess in the tower" story line is as old as time, and will never die. Here it serves as a vehicle to illustrate how much our freedoms are eroding, and what society will begin to look like if we don't stand up and stop it from happening. The fictional police state, runaway inflation, and eroded society that are described in the Miami sequences are not just a disturbing challenge for Kilmer and Galloway. Current and past legislation are more than paving the way there for our nation. Castigo Cay gives ample warning of what that can look like. It is at the same time a delicious adventure novel. I recommend it to anyone who believes in freedom.