December 3, 2009

Crogan's Vengeance

Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer

Pages: 185 pgs.
Ages: 13+
First Published: Oct. 2008
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

...and he'll be over every week until school starts to mow your lawn.

Reason for Reading: Cybils nominee.

Summary: The first in a proposed series to chronicle the adventures of the fathers and sons of a family throughout history. This book tells the story of how "Catfoot" Crogan became a pirate, starting off as an honest sailor.

Comments: This is a book for boys; there is not a single female character in sight and that's all right because the world aboard a 1701 English sailing ship is no place a woman would be found. All the horrible aspects of sailing life are experienced as the ship is captained by a madman reverend who will punish, whip or shoot anyone who he even thinks has been insubordinate to him. Then the swashbuckling action starts as they are met and boarded by pirates, from this point on the book is a series of rip-roaring action.

While we follow the adventures of Crogan there is another side here and the reason for the tale in the first place. The story is being told by a father to his son who has just been through a situation where he got in trouble because rather than fleeing the scene he made a moral decision to do the right thing. The story of "Catfish" is the story of a sailor dragged into the violent world of pirates, a man who participates in that violence, and yet retains a moral code he won't step over. That may sound a little preachy written out in words like that but the book is not by any means. Crogan is the good guy and it just shows in the way he acts and reacts.

Boys are certain to eat this one up and any girl who loves a good dose of swashbuckling action will too. The teen rating is due to the plethora of violence (what can you expect with pirates) though none of it is gory or overly disturbing. A really fun, engrossing, well-written yarn.


No comments: