Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg #1) by Geoff Rodkey
Not that Egg's life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.
But when Egg's father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.
Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.
Suddenly, Egg's running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he's been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.
Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did.
This is a wonderfully inventive book for middle graders, although, really, I enjoyed it enough to recommend it to everyone.
The premise is original enough to have the reader sigh with relief. No wizards or vampires to be found. Instead, we have pirates! What I loved was that although some of them are the normal kind of pirates, the majority we see in the book are what the author calls “field pirates”. They work the fields as mercenaries. This, to me, is a fun twist on what a pirate really is. But that’s not the only great thing about the book. The main character Egg, is delightful to read about. He gets into all kinds of craziness, including meeting his best friend when he tries to kill him in a duel to the death. All the characters are great, including the villain and his daughter, with whom Egg falls in love.
There were many moments throughout the book where I found myself laughing out loud. There are lots of clever little scenes that will capture the reader’s imagination, no matter the age. The writing is fresh and light, keeping the pace at a steady trot through the chapters. I doubt anyoe could get bored reading this book.
I recommend it to all lovers of fantasy.