Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker

Title: To Catch a Pirate
Author: Jade Parker
Genre: YA / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Point
Published: 2007
Pages: 320

Rating - 2 out of 10

 I knew that reading this book was a terrible idea, but a friend have given it to me as a gift, having read it herself, and I knew that she would be expecting feedback. So... I began.

I cannot believe that this book is in any way popular. The author displays impatience with her plot and characters everywhere, dumping things into the story at breakneck speed. She skips over all chances of character development. The first chapter of the book shows the main character, Annalisa, as a proper and timid young woman. And in the very next chapter, the author simply acknowledges that "a year has passed" and now Annalisa is a completely different person, the bold captain of a ship hunting down pirates. What?! It is a poorly constructed start to an equally poorly written story.

There are many instances when the author seems to have forgotten she included a certain small detail further back, and contradicts herself. For instance, while questioning Sterling, Annalisa thinks to herself that she'll use the whip on him if she has to. But about a chapter later, when her men begin to whip Sterling, she rushes out and the book makes a big deal of stopping them. Apparently whipping goes against Annalisa's morals, and she is adamant that it never, ever be allowed on her ship. Then a few more chapters later, she again considers lashing Sterling.

Annalisa and other characters are always voicing their weariness over leading such a dangerous, violent life, but I don't know where they are getting this from. The sun shines down on them, and that's about as much danger as they ever face. This is a pirate book with absolutely no violence.

The plot is predictable and cliche, and overall Parker simply uses a very shallow writing style.
If you want to read a similar, yet well written book that is actually worth your time, read "Pirates!" by Celia Rees.