I really need to start reviewing the Classics that I have been reading. Perhaps a review of Beowulf is coming soon, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I also recently finished Jane Eyre; I loved that one.
However, I don’t have these reviews written at the moment. What I do have is a review of a Middle Grade book.
I do have other posts that I need to do, but I thought that it would be nice to post a book review today.
I received a review copy through NetGalley.
Christopher is an orphan who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped by two pirates, called Boots and Stinky, who force him to pose as Boots’s mute nephew. The group then proceed to get work on a merchant’s ship. Then Christopher finds out that the pirates are out to steal cargo that is being carried for the king; with the help of his human guide, who happens to be a talking mouse, he must find a way to save the ship, the captain, the crew, and himself.
I enjoyed this book overall. It was a quick read, and the plot was fairly interesting. The fact that Christopher was receiving help from a talking mouse amused me, and a colony of bats helped out the main characters quite a lot.
I did lose track of some of the characters. The secondary ones were not very developed, and sometimes I couldn’t remember one being properly introduced. I had to pause and figure out who was being spoken of before I continued reading. I think that they could have used a bit more personality.
What I really like, though, is that there is a healthy amount of adult guidance in the story. Books nowadays don’t usually have parents or other authority figures in any place of importance. Often, such people are portrayed in a negative light. In ARRGH!, there were multiple adults guiding Christopher, and he was very respectful toward them. It was refreshing, and I really liked that element.
There were some lessons taught in the book, but I didn’t find that it was in an obvious in-your-face sort of way. Instead, they were lessons mentioned to Christopher by Leo, also known as his talking mouse, and they had an impact in the story.
The story was wrapped up nicely in a sweet ending that I really enjoyed.
There were some typos that would occasionally distract me, but these could easily be fixed. I feel that the typos made the writing seem simpler and more juvenile than it likely was.
There was some potentially offensive language used by the pirates, which surprised me due to this being a children’s book. There was also a description of a pirate bar, and a singing harlot was mentioned, though this was purely to describe the atmosphere. Other than this I found the book clean and the fight scenes were not particularly violent.
I would say that this is definitely a younger MG book, and that age group would probably enjoy it. It is a bit simple for older readers, but it is still pleasant enough if you are looking for something fun and easy.
Sometimes I enjoy reading children’s and MG books; they are nice when you was something light and quick. What about you? Do you ever read MG or YA for a change?