Title: Lackbeard by Cody B Stewart and Adam Rocke
Genre: Children’s Fantasy Adventure, Pirate Adventure
Publisher: Common Deer Press
Publication Date: To be released December 3, 2018
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Print Length: 172 pages
Title and Cover: Lackbeard – Pirate map–perfect
All they wanted was their forever homes. But when a motley group of orphans steals an ancient artifact from the Golden Age of Piracy and a treasure map drawn in blood, what they get is an epic adventure.
(Goodreads) Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. Calico Jack. Henry Morgan. You think those are the fearsomest pirates ever to sail the seven seas? That’s because you haven’t yet had the great misfortune to stumble upon Captain Lackbeard and his crew of mismatched misfits. if the Captain is yet challenged in the fine art of facial hair development? And who cares that he’s only eleven years old? Adventure, chums. That’s what our hero is after. Or at least that’s what he thinks he’s after… until real adventure finds him.
Is it just a charming book cover that attracted my attention because of the pirate adventure book I published for my grandfather called Cocos Island Treasure? What can I say? I’m attracted to books about pirates, never mind this one is geared for the 8+ year crowd. It’s fun.
Carter Humbolt is eleven years old and he’s a die-hard pirates fan–not a ball club–the folklore, sword, and yo ho ho kind of pirates. All of his beloved earthly possessions are pirate books, artifacts, trinkets. He walks the walk and talks the talk. Now he just needs the treasure. He talks his older brother Brad into being a reluctant buccaneer and off they go to heist an artifact from a local museum. Unfortunately, he and his cohorts are caught, but he and his brother do not have parents to take them home and deliver appropriate discipline. He is returned to an orphanage where it is determined that he and his brother will be split up. (Or maybe not.)
New escapees Carter and a cadre of orphans steal a fifty-eight-foot Rossborough Ketch (as I said–suspend your disbelief–kids will lap this up). Captain Carter Lackbeard and his crew set out for Eleuthera. (Yes, it’s a real island in the Bahamas archipelago known for pink sand beaches. *Wikipedia.) Carter found a map, you see. The kids confront real pirates and “heave to” during a storm but manage to reach the island and are soon in search of treasure. In the meantime, I began to roll this flick through my mind, and could picture Cruella de Vil in the part of the orphanage school mistress.
Remember now–this is a novel for middle schoolers–so just park your disbelief and try to remember those years in which you could crawl into your head and be the hero, lead the way against the odds, discover new heights, catch the crooks, and find the treasure of your dreams. Nothing is impossible.
Carter is the stalwart brother ready to tackle anything (holding back a few niggles of concern for his fellow orphans) while Brad weighs heavily having been left the burden of protecting and watching over Carter. The characters are varied and add texture and believability to a story of the mix expected of this age range of children suddenly left without families. There are the antagonists, badder than bad, bent on returning the orphans back into “the system,” but you know somewhere along the line, their hearts may melt just a little. Support characters add depth to the romp.
“We rich?” “No, just dirty.”
This little story keeps you engaged right to conclusion–it’s short–doesn’t take long and the climax is exactly as you’d have it. My only problem was with the edit misses which I assume will be cleaned by the time this little ditty releases. Sometimes you just have to relinquish the heavy stuff, even the cozies, and enjoy a romp into juvenile unreality. Recommended for anyone who would enjoy a fantasy trip to hunt for hidden treasure and read it to your kids (or yourself). I was given this download by the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: Cody B. Stewart was born in the Adirondacks, in Upstate New York. His love of stories began in those mountains as he vanquished trolls, fought in the American Revolution and discovered his latent mutant powers. Stories have continued to consume his life, but he now plucks them out of his head and puts them down on paper in the form of novels and comic books. He left the Adirondacks to grow into a man, did so, and has since returned with a wonderfully supportive wife and two sons.
Adam Rocke Slutsky never met an adventure he didn’t love. From swimming with great white sharks without a cage, to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, Adam’s adrenaline junkie tendencies play a major role in his writing. Throw in a secondary degree in CryptoZoology, and it’s anyone’s guess where Adam’s literary travels will take him.
©2018 V Williams