Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting


Catherine's mother has just died - and her father is a pirate.  Dealing with grief, Catherine must convince her father to allow her to go on his next cruise with him.  He is the only hope she has left; she doesn't want to be left with her Aunt.  She has wanted adventure all her life, and this is finally the chance.  And then there's the question of the man who was prowling around their house the night before her mother died.  He'd gotten in, looking for something, and Catherine barely managed to scare him away.  If she stays, something like that could happen again.  So when her father accepts, Catherine is thrilled.  But pirate life is not what Catherine - now Charlie - bargained for.  And the danger of her request may cost her the lives of those she loves.
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My thoughts -
If this book hadn't been so short, I would have put it down half way through.  Or maybe, if it had been longer, it would have been better, with more meat and substance and intrigue.  But the fact of the matter is: it was short, underdeveloped, and even stupid.
I know Eve Bunting was trying to create a pirate world that was based off reality more than romanticism, but I'm sorry, it just didn't work.  There was nothing working in her favor here.  The events were real, perhaps, but not beneficial to the story.  Things must happen for a reason, or else all falls apart.  Writing a realistic story does not mean having characters die for no reason.  (Well, if there was a reason, I must have missed it...)
With that said, here is a little explanation for why I finished this book (it's not much, I can assure you; how did I manage?!):
1.  I liked the writing.
2.  It had potential.  By potential, I mean I was able to, in my mind, picture things the way I wanted them to be or to go.  Other than that... Yah.  That's pretty much it.

Character notes -
There was very little character development.  Charlotte was a sweet girl who meant well and learned a lesson, but she fell flat.  William was the best character, but he was so underdeveloped it was sad...I wanted to get to know him more.  The rest of the characters felt forced and unnatural.  Like, maybe Bunting was trying to create interesting and unusual characters.  Maybe trying too hard.  Because basically, it lacked.  Someone's distinct, strong, and disgusting smell should not be his only distinguishable character trait.

Story notes -
I was so looking forward to a story about pirates that's actually good.  (The other one I read was Steel by Carrie Vaughn.  Come on, people!  Step it up a notch!)  Unfortunately, I discovered not too far into this story that that was too much to ask.  I felt like there was seriously no adventure.  Danger, maybe a bit.  Lots of talking and explaining.  Quite a bit of useless details and hurried explanations packed into tiny sentences.  Within seventy pages or so, she was already on the ship.  At seventy-five pages or around there, William figured out she was a girl.  Wait, there are only 125 pages left - how's she going to tie up everything and finish it off well, when not much as actually happened?!
Truth is, she didn't.  She didn't let the suspense build and explode in the end.  Instead, she'd let you think about some mystery for twenty pages or less and then explain away the suspense.

Disappointing, much?

Summing it up -
Flat.  Boring.  Fast.  Too fast.  Too short.  Too uninteresting.  I wish it had been more, but unfortunately it wasn't.

For the parents -  Recommended to ages 11+.  But it was stupid because at the end it was implied that Catherine and William have sex on the beach where they're marooned, after they've practically starved for two weeks.  It was weird to say the least - they hadn't even developed a relationship!  Ugh!

So, basically I'm looking for a good, solid, realistic and still romantic pirate story.  Anyone have any suggestions?

2 comments:

  1. oh my gosh I love this review! You're too funny! I'm still looking for a good pirate book, too. I tried Steel (DNF) and The Dust of 100 Dogs(which I wish I had brain bleach for). I did like To Catch a Pirate, but it was very light, sweet, and unrealistic. But fun!

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  2. I hate it when I get a book that is flat and boring with no character development. The fact that you even finished it is impressive. I probably would have abandoned it myself.

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