book review tagged posts

The Sweet Trade, by Debrah Strait

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Debrah Strait’s The Sweet Trade is no Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean romp. And that’s a very good thing.

Life in the Caribbean in the second half of the 17th Century was anything but easy: “nasty, brutish, and short” might be a better description. Not just for pirates and other sailors but for the citizens in the many coastal and island villages, cities, and towns and the soldiers assigned to protect them. Death came often, and was often violent, brutal, and painful, whether at the hands of raiders or defenders or in the jaws of thousands of ants or a single caiman.

This is the world eleven-year-old Dirk van Cortlandt is thrust into when Spanish raiders attack the island he and his family live on and kill everyone except Dirk and four of his young friends...

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Sea Species

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I really wanted to like R. L. Clayton’s debut novel, Sea Species. Unfortunately, the more I read, the easier it became to put this book down and the harder it became to pick it up again. By the time I got about a third of the way through, I could go no farther. Skipping ahead to see if things got better didn’t offer any encouragement.

What went wrong? The problems are the kinds that happen when a new writer doesn’t get the outside advice and critique on the draft that he should have and publishes the book before it’s ready.

Clayton’s good guys, the scientists of the Kihhim science colony in Arizona are indistinguishable except by name and gender...

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