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Pieces of Eight: A Story of Sex & Love, Trust & Betrayal Paperback – February 13, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Michael Reed McLaughlin grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, went to Newport Harbor High and then Del Norte High School, before attending film school from 1993-96 at BYU, where he shot several short films, including Student Emmy award-winning The Fourth Trimester, as well as a feature length version of that film. Believing that one learns more by doing than by study, he also wrote, directed, shot, edited, and sometimes acted in a scene on video every week as well as watched fifteen classic films outside of class each week. Just before graduating, he came back to Los Angeles and formed a production company to shoot an independent film. The company was MRM Productions; and the film was Of Love & Betrayal, a simple story he planned on shooting in 16 mm on his own sailboat with some friends from film school. The project snowballed into a 35 mm project shot on a 76' schooner on location in the Bahamas. Filming was quite an adventure. There were several tropical storms, two hurricanes, dealings with drug dealers, DEA agents, two murders, and the usual cast & crew love affairs along the way. What fun! Although he feels that his primary talent lies in directing film, he does a great deal of writing. He has penned several feature scripts in addition to Of Love & Betrayal, and has many more in development. He also writes genre fiction, including The Hero Sagas trilogy. You can learn more about all his books at: www.mrmproductions.com/books.
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I have never been a pirate fan, but I was somewhat intrigued with the history that was central to the adventure. I found Jack a likable person--although I grew tired of his bedroom capers. Thankfully, none of his bedroom antics were told in detail.
Portia and Sandy were fascinating characters. I could have done without the brief homosexual interlude, but I understand why that avenue was pursued. I felt it was woven into the framework of the story and made sense, but I am never a fan of those kinds of scenes.
I also did not enjoy the profanity scattered throughout the story. I am not saying it was absolutely horrific--I've read much worse. At least the author only had it in dialogue rather than nouns and verbs throughout the narrative. But I did feel some of it was not necessary. Again, just my opinino.
Lest you think I did not like the book, let me extol what I enjoyed about the story. The author has a very readable style. Even when I couldn't understand the nautical terms that were used (I still get confused between port and starboard--I identified with many of Portia's failings), it did not spoil the story for me. I found that I was able to escape to the world of the high seas and treasure-hunting through the author's words. The adventure never let up, and I was not sure what the ending would hold. It made we want to keep reading.
I also thought that the three main characters were developed extremely well. They were definitely three-dimensional characters, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy that in a novel. The characters had to tackle real issues from drugs, to sex, to feelings of worthlessness. I think everyone would be able to identify with one of the characters ot a degree.
I have to say that I found the ending a bit of a let-down. I know I am a romantic, and I like happy ending, but I also am a realist. The ending seemed a little rushed, and too many loose ends were not tied up. But that's just me, More thank likely, the vast majority of people will find the end very satisfying.
I could honestly recommend this to lovers of pirate stories, adventure stories, and just for a change of pace. It is a fast read, for the most part, and as long as the issues which I have pointed out do not bother or offend you, I think you will findthis read worth while.
The author sent me a free copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.