CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 7 . . . . November 24, 2006
Non-stop fun and action describes this easy to read adventure-filled yarn. Author Darren Krill throws in a few historical and modern pop culture references for good measure in a pirate adventure populated by Robert Lewis Stevenson’s characters from Treasure Island.
The main character is a young boy named Sage Smiley who goes on a summer vacation with his Uncle Dunkirk, nicknamed Uncle Duncle. The adventure becomes complicated when the pair are sent into a fictional past based on Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
The author tells a great story that teaches the reader a bit about history and philosophy. When, for example, Sage mistakes the word nirvana for Kurt Cobain’s grunge rock band, Uncle Duncle explains the word’s original usage and meaning. For older readers and more savvy younger ones, Krill’s writing is gently humourous, an example being Uncle Duncle’s bluffing that Paul McCartney is the captain of a ship from Liverpool and someone with whom he has sailed.
Some sections of the book can be a bit gory such as the description of the ‘nick of time’ method to punish disobedient pirates that entails a slow death being ravaged by sharks. There is also violence, an aspect one would expect in a tale about pirates, betrayal, and treasure.
Krill’s writing brings humanity to what could have been one-dimensional characters. The reader is given an interesting multidimensional perspective on greed, loneliness, lust for power, loyalty, and love while refraining from imparting heavy-handed life lessons.
The book is a great read for mature young readers and adults. Krill has done a service to Stevenson’s books to which the young reader may turn after whetting his or her appetite on the Chronicles.
Located in Toronto, ON, J. Lynn Fraser is a freelance writer and editor whose magazine articles appear in national and international publications.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.