Saturday, June 20, 2009

They don't make pirates like they used to

The Dust of 100 Dogs The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I love pirates. I love female kickass pirates even more. But this book, despite an abundance of piratical awesometude, managed to disappoint me. Here's why: one character split between two bodies and time period was really well developed. Which would have been great— if she also had a supporting cast of believable characters. I did not, for one second, believe in the Frenchman or his modern incarnation. I was un-amused by Seannie and the first mate David, both of whom felt like throwaways. Too much is going on in this book and therefore much in the way of characterization (beyond the one dimension plastic characters of abusive foster father and repentant foster mother, brave and wonderful—but dead (of course)—parents and brother, awesome love interest who is missing for most of the book then suddenly reappears at the end.) And finally, an unmitigated repressed homosexual evildoer who not only has a single course rape/revenge mindset towards our heroine, but also abuses dogs. Oh, and contemporary* reincarnated version of the pirate girl has both a stereotype of a drug dealer brother and loser parents that actually serve little purpose to advance the plot.

Seriously. Too much going on in this “YA” novel. A lot of the book stops you with implausibility as well as its preachy (though occasionally informative) history lessons. The ending is both unsatisfactory and blindly predictable. Still, worth reading for piratical adventures and Emer's sassy attitude (even if I'm still not sure exactly where she learned to be a badass ninja pirate fighter.)

*And by “Contemporary Teen” as put on the book jacket, we mean 1970s, evidently.

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