Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames

The Dagger Quick Kitto believes that he will follow his father into the business of making barrels, but secretly wishes he could become a sailor instead. He was born with a club foot and he knows that limits him in the eyes of the world. When he meets his uncle, the infamous pirate William Kidd, Kitto's life is thrown into turmoil. His father is murdered, his brother and stepmom are kidnapped, and Kitto joins forces with his uncle to get revenge on the man behind it all -- the Jamaican Governor.

As advertised, The Dagger Quick is action-packed adventure. Plenty of battles, hand-to-hand combat, thrilling rescues, and treachery abound. It's a quick read, and episodic which would make for a good read-aloud. While Kitto is a well-developed character, I kept wishing that as much attention was paid to some of the other characters as well. Unfortunately, for me, many of the secondary characters were stereotypical and flat. I can see where more will be revealed in further stories about Kitto, so it may just be a "book one" flaw. All will be revealed in time. I give it a C+, a fine adventure story.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dark City (Relic Master #1) by Catherine Fisher

The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)The Dark City is the first in a four part continuing story centered around Galen and his apprentice, Raffi, and their search for mysterious relics that may contain the secret to saving their world. Being members of the Order, the group with ties to the ancients and outlawed by the ruling group, the Watch, the duo must constantly beware of being captured by the Watch, especially when their search leads them to the city of Tasceron, which is controlled by the Watch.

This is a balanced mix of fantasy and adventure, with a few suspense-filled twists added. Knowing that this was book one of a planned four-book series even before I started reading helped to keep me appeased when the story ended with a cliffhanger. I'm glad the books are being published in four consecutive months, so that I don't have to wait an interminable period before getting the next one to read. Believe me, you won't want to wait long, either.

I don't think this is as well written as Incarceron, or maybe I just know what to expect from Ms. Fisher. I haven't been as surprised with some of the twists as I might have been, nor do I think this story quite intrigued me as well. But, if one starts it knowing that it's not like Incarceron, maybe it won't be a disappointment. The Relic Master series will appeal to middle school level kids, especially ones looking for an adventure that continues over several books. I give it a solid B.