Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review: Pirate Latitudes

For Charles Hunter and his crew of privateers, stealing treasure from a cruel Spanish overlord is only half the battle.  Keeping said treasure proves to be even more difficult.  The Caribbean, 1665 A.D., is the setting for the late Michael Crichton's final book, which was found on his computer in 2006 and published in 2009.
The reviews on are all over the literary treasure map:  86 x 5-star ratings, 111 x 4-stars, 74 x 3-stars; followed by 49 x 2-stars and 42 x 1-stars. 
I assumed this was a "B-movie" swashbuckler when I bought it, so I wasn't disappointed.  Oh, sure the story contained some historical and nautical clinkers; but for what it was, I enjoyed it.  So I'm giving this a firm 3.5-stars.  I'm not sure what the low-score reviewers were expecting. The speculation among them is this was his first draft. If so, I wish I could write first drafts like this.  As any writer will tell you, first drafts (and even second and third ones)--suck.  Toiling away at improving a manuscript is part of the ordeal in honing one's craft as a writer.
Was this Michael Crichton's best book?  No.

Could the story have used some basic fact checking?  Yes, definitely.

But overall, did the author tell a good story? Myself and 271, three to five-star raters seem to think so.

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