Here you go, the beginning of Chapter 4!
Here you go, the beginning of Chapter 4!
Publisher’s Weekly certainly isn’t wrong. I’ll warn you though, some of the other covers for this series are bizarrely out of keeping with the text and themes. I’m talking about you, weirdly sexualized romance-cover blond girl.
Fortunately, reading this book doesn’t involve long hours of staring at its cover! It’s a fast read, and is excellent historical naval adventure fiction with a female protagonist. I’m not certain what to think of Jack’s characterization at a few points (Jack gets a period, feels emotional, I don’t know whether to say that it’s well or poorly done), but goodness the rest of the book is fun.
Fun. Yes. That’s a good word for this book. It’s wonderfully fun late middle grade / early YA adventure fiction, with just enough in the way of messy emotions near the end to leave it straddling the two camps while still feeling very much like a middle grade adventure story. It puts me in the mood to write more Miska, and also to read the rest of this series. It’s good stuff. I recommend it.
Wheee, portal fiction! When done well, this stuff is great. I got this book for free somehow, though I can’t remember why. I’m glad that I did. It’s quite enjoyable. I’ve already seen the next book in the series in my local library, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.
I don’t want to spoil the fun for you, but I do want to say a few more words in favor of you reading this book. It’s got a female protagonist and non-hetero characters, it’s got lots of sailing and boats, and it has a climax that I found very appealing. Lots of fun. It’s intrigue and sea-adventure wrapped up in a portal fiction premise. What’s not to like?
I’ve been working on my Miska story for class, and as such have more material for you. Some of it is rewritten old stuff, some of it is new. I think I’ve done a better job of firming up her voice, and showing off her life. I hope you enjoy it!
Also, I’m going to be on hiatus next week; I’ll be working for an awesome theater camp in upstate New York (or as one of my friends calls it, “Narnia”), and I’ll be way too busy to post anything and probably won’t have access to the internet anyway!
Enjoy some more Miska after the break.
Miska is a character who’s shown up in several of my drafts of various stories in the Elven Progenitors universe for a while now. She started off as a secondary character in the backstory of another secondary character, but quickly took on a life of her own in my imagination. I always wanted to find out how she’d come to be where she was, and I tried, again and again, to write it. But every time I tried, I lost interest within a few pages. I was just dead *bored* with what I was writing, which I took to be a bad sign. I tried, and tried, and eventually I gave up and put the story on the backburner, but yesterday I had an epiphany and started writing down notes like mad. My first scene based on those notes follows. It turns out, I wasn’t going back far enough; I needed to see how it was that Miska, the Pirate Queen, went to sea in the first place…
This scene doesn’t happen, but doesn’t it look nice?
My review has been delayed by other distractions, but I read most of 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies before it actually came out. You see, I’m infatuated with the 1632 universe. I think that’s at least in part because the series offers a far more optimistic take on the world than most of the other fiction that I read. If you already know that you don’t like the series, I doubt this book will change your mind… but if you do like them, you’ll want to take a look. I’m not totally sold on it, and yet I still love it.
What do I mean by that? Well, this book is a clear sequel to the Baltic War storyline, but it also incorporates at least two other storylines into the mix, with other elements thrown in from the rich milieu which has developed in the rest of the 163X stories. It’s clearly intended to start a new set of storylines, several of which seem like they deserve their own books, or at least their own short stories. I can see why they tried to fit so much into this book, but I feel like they ended up trying for too much and then ended up without quite enough to satisfy me with each of the individual stories.
But maybe the piecemeal way in which I read the book has done it a disservice. I got early partial copies as soon as they became available and, like the literary glutton that I am, devoured each morsel as quickly as I could. Like I said, it’s an infatuation. While I doubt I’ll be able to restrain myself from reading new 163X books as fast as I can, I resolve to start over from the beginning next time once the whole book becomes available. I’ll probably re-read 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies some time soon to see just how much of my impressions came from the disjointed nature of my reading.
Now then, how about my thoughts on the material itself?