Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Captain Bull and the Calico Avengers by Ardyth Debruyn (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

February 2014, Amazon Media EU S.à r.l, around 10,000 words, Ebook, Review copy

 Themes: pirates, slaves, escaping capture, kidnapping, a capable princess, friendship, brothers, 

Content: sword fights, some major peril, lots of tense parts

Summary from Ardyth's website
Captain Pit Bull is the terror of the seven seas, plundering ships traveling to Catland with his team of scurvy sea dogs. Two young kittens, Patrick and Nathaniel, are galley slaves, chained to the oars below deck. With the help of the brave cabin pup Rifky, the kittens escape. Patrick swears to return and defeat Captain Bull, but can he do it before the pirate captain realizes Rifky’s mutiny?

Nayuleska's thoughts
I have to say that Ardyth is a good friend of mine, but that didn't automatically give her an almost perfect score. I find that unless a female protagonist is used I become uninterested in a book. Not so with the two brothers who will do anything to help each other, or the cabin boy who risks his life to help them out. Escaping the pirates is the start of their adventures together, which had plenty of places where I held my breath. 

I love their compassion to others who are mistreated by the pirates, and how they seek to make the world a better place. I admire Princess Sasha's attitude which had me cheering her on and being frightened for her safety. I sincerely hope she will end up as a major part in Patrick and Natty's adventures as she makes it a more appealing read if, like me, you prefer female characters because they are easier to relate to. 

That said I think Patrick is a brave and heroic big brother. I wasn't overly fond of the style of illustration (sorry Ardyth, you know my love of cute & fluffly things which the pirates aren't...) but the pictures at the start of each chapter felt like an integral part of the story . I want to read book 2 right now! Sadly it's not yet written, but I'm hoping that will change in time.

Find out more on Ardyth's website

Suggested read
Check out Ardyth's other books which include A Recipe For Disaster (Children's, 9 years +, 9/10E)

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