I love pirates, guys. I really do. I haven't gotten around to tackling them myself, but I love reading about them. And I love supporting small, local, and indie authors. So pirate adventure comedy by a local author? I snatched this thing up so fast. The fact that I got to meet the author in person--in pirate garb, no less--made it all the better. (He seems super nice, for the record.)
So read on for my review of Of Pirates and Werewolves by Isaiah T. Silkwood.
A captain’s mission to prove his mettle turns out to be a man’s trial to earn his first mate’s confidence in this entertaining and fanciful tale of pirates and the supernatural.
Shipwrecked on the island of Gealach—an isle lost in the mist of mythology and mystery—Captain Fish-Eye finds himself pushed to his limits. He must prove to Wokey the Shrimp, his first mate in a crew of one, and more importantly to himself, that he has what it takes to be a true pirate captain.
This won’t be as easy as a walk off the gangplank with the bloodthirsty crew of the Harsh One and their slaughtering captain hot on Fish-Eye’s wake. Things only get worse when Fish-Eye and Shrimp encounter a castaway tormented with the idea that he is a werewolf.
Naught be as it seems on the island of Gealach.
Review: Like I mentioned, I was excited for this book. It sounded so fun, and was right from the first page. You've got your typical pirate-y feel to the world, the sense of grand high-seas adventure, but instead of the suave roguish cast you get it with a clueless captain and his dim but optimistic first mate. Racing against a ruthless villain to a fabled, mystical treasure--and guided by a possibly delusional castaway--I found myself rooting for Fish-Eye and his ragtag crew. They were a joy to read, truly funny and lovable. Along with the fascinating lore of the mysterious island Gealach, they're certainly the strong point of this story.
The weak point here is, unfortunately, the writing itself. I found it flat, and was really wanting more punch to both the action and the humor. It was easy to look past and see and appreciate what the author was aiming for, but the execution didn't quite reach the potential. To top this off, the plot itself was simple but intriguing, with what at first seemed like unrelated threads tying together to lead up to what should have been an exciting climax. However, the story never quite got there, and cut off abruptly with a promise to continue in book two. I have a big problem with this approach, as there was never that satisfying payoff moment of high action, surprise, or even partial resolution to carry me over into the next installment. While I'd love to find out the ultimate fate of Fish-Eye, Shrimp, and the others, the disappointment does sting, and combined with the unexceptional writing makes me hesitant to continue.
If you want to take a chance on a fun cast, interesting worldbuilding, and a lackluster ending that, for all I know, may pay off in book two, I can say Of Pirates and Werewolves was enough to give me a nice little escape after the kiddo was put to bed.