Friday, August 27, 2010

PIRATE LATITUDES by Michael Crichton


Author: Michael Crichton
Publisher: Harper (November 24, 2009)

Set in the Caribbean in 1665, Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes begins in Jamaica. Rumors of treasure swirl around Port Royal like a whirlwind. The infamous galleon El Trinidad is in port at at the impenetrable Spanish stronghold, Matanceros. Captain Charles Hunter is given papers by the Governor of Jamaica to search for logs, although their real search is to capture El Trinidad for the glory of King Charles II and the British Crown. Hunter gathers his ragtag crew of ruthless privateers, don't dare call them pirates, and they set sail. Facing krakens, the Spanish villain Cazella, and a hurricane, the crew doesn't know if they'll ever escape with the treasure and come out of it alive.

Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes is a fast paced, action packed, swashbuckling adventure that is along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean and Stevenson's Treasure Island. Despite enjoying the novel, I felt like it was lacking from Crichton's other works, such as Jurassic Park and Timeline. The novel had all the things you want in a pirate novel, though, including enough historical facts to make it feel authentic. Yet, it is clear to me that this novel was a first draft, discovered after the great Mr. Crichton had already passed on. Pirate Latitudes does not have the depth and complexity of Crichton's other novels. Overall, Pirate Latitudes is worth reading, and I, for one, miss Michael Crichton, especially since he is my favorite author.