Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton Review

Title: Pirate Latitudes
Author: Michael Crichton
Genre: Fiction
Page Count: 312
Book Type: Library Hardcover 
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-06-192937-3
From Goodreads: From one of the best-loved authors of all time comes an irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World, a classic story of treasure and betrayal.
The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses.
In this steamy climate there's a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease—or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.
Word in port is that the galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in a nearby harbor. Heavily fortified, the impregnable harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of the Spanish king himself. With backing from a powerful ally, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy outpost and commandeer El Trinidad, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of island legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he even sets foot on foreign shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure. . . .
Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichton at his best: a rollicking adventure tale pulsing with relentless action, crackling atmosphere, and heart-pounding suspense.

My Review: The cover is your typical pirate book cover with a skull and swords. Nothing too special, but nothing horrible either. It kind of irks me when the author's name is so much larger than the title, but I will accept it in this case because this story was discovered as a manuscript in Michael Crichton's files after he died. It is a shame we won't get to experience any more of his genius--Jurassic Park anyone? I just loved that. Also, the pages are jagged on the edges and it makes you feel as if you are really reading a pirate tale from back in the day. I thought that was a nice touch. 

Now, on to the characters. You know the author is doing something right when you are rooting for the pirates. You should ultimately not want the pirates to succeed because, well, they are pirates! They pillage, they plunder (yes, I know this means the same thing), but I just love them anyway. There are a lot of characters in this book, but it does pick a select few to focus on, which I really enjoyed. Hunter and Lazue were among my favorites. The characters could have been developed a little bit more, but overall I think it was done pretty well.

Finally, we get to the story. This novel had everything a good pirate novel should. There were raids, sea storms, the kraken and much, much more. It is divided into six sections plus an epilogue and was a really easy but satisfying read. I have not read many pirate stories, so I wasn't too sure how I would like it even though I am obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean. I shouldn't have even been concerned! I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who likes adventure stories.

Library Comments:
#1: Leave it to Crichton, a great tale "from the groove." Very enjoyable.
#2: Excellent-a fitting finale
My comment: In one word, amazing. Everything you want in a pirate story!


  1. Thats kinda cool. I think this would be a killer book

  2. Yes, it is truly a shame as the Jurrassic Park story was truly enjoyable. Love the added touch of fun with the ragged pages...gets you in the spirit of things, you know? Sounds like this one was rather enjoyable despite it being "unfinished" in a sense...thanks for sharing! Happy reading....


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