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Pirate's Redemption Paperback – September 3, 2013
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
About the Author
A. T. Ross started writing when he was ten, after discovering Beowulf at his local library. He holds a degree in English from Marietta College and
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Summary: fourteen-year-old John Rackham's simple life in the Massachusetts' Bay Colony is turned upside down when he meets his reformed pirate father for the first time. Since John was born, Billy Jack Thatcher has been working with the British Crown to reclaim the very treasures he plundered with the notorious pirate Bloodbeard. Now only one more treasure lies between Thatcher and a full pardon for his life in crime and he wants his long lost son with him for the final hunt.
The plot line may seem simple but Ross's treatment of it certainly isn't. John lurches from one dangerous situation into another and with clever twists and little clues about unrevealed secrets dropped along the way, a sense of uncertainty and tension pervades the story from beginning to end. Halfway through, the novel became so grippingly unpredictable I gave up trying to figure out how John would escape or sidestep his way out of each predicament.
The character development is solid and reaches a high point with the villainous Captain Bloodbeard. John's relationship with his father is particularly deft, moving without being sentimental or overwrought. And the romance between John and Isabella is fun and an engaging story all on its own.
As to those who raised an eyebrow at the rather audacious review title, I truly feel that Pirate's Redemption delivers a smooth yet raw and visceral rush that the Hunger Games (touted as one of the most gripping YA stories out there) never achieves with its short and episodic stop-start action.
Pirate's Redemption is one of the best YA novels I've ever read and I can only hope that it's the start to a long ad fruitful career for Mr Ross. Look out for his next novel, The Book of Secrets, the first in an epic fantasy series. It'll be out in late November.
The one big problem I had was with the love interest, Isabella. She comes off as a parody of a feminist character, with many of her actions overblown to emphasize how strong and independent she is. Now, I love girl-power books, but they have to be done carefully to make a character come off fierce and capable instead of obnoxious and foolish. Openly defying a pirate who likes to drench his beard in the blood of his victims? That made me wince, not want to root for Isabella.
Still, if you can get past that character (and I did, since the rest of the story was so interesting), you'll be in for an entertaining ride. I look forward to any sequels.
As with much pirate lore, it is a bit shocking how sudden the deaths are. The author did a great job of painting a picture of life at sea with many of its pitfalls (or literally falls into the briny depths with shark fins).
The read moves right along at a satisfying clip. A few of the situations seemed a bit contrived, but many of them didn't, which was good. Terrific tension and action!
This would make a really good Indiana Jones style movie!
The main pirate, Bloodbeard, was definitely an awesome picture of an evil pirate Captain. John is a basically good kid who has to get thrown into a pirate's life right up close to this evil man.
Rollicking adventure, much death, treasure maps, sea battles, and he even gets to meet a girl named Isabella along the way.
The father-son relationship in the midst of a fallen world is explored here. The addition of the Parson, and his wisdom in situations added much depth to the tale.