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Powder Monkey (Adventures of Sam Witchall) Hardcover – 3 Oct 2005
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'Filled with action, warfare and drama, a cocktail of adventure which thrill-seeking readers will undoubtedly appreciate' -- Big Issue
`Detailed and gritty ... One for the boys'
-- Daily Telegraph
`More vivid than a Patrick O'Brian novel ... all children worth their salt will read on to the end' -- The Independent
`Thrilling tale, exceptionally well written and affecting' -- The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
`More vivid than a Patrick O'Brian novel ... all children worth their salt will read on to the end' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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Sam, aged 10
Although friends and family have convinced me of the authenticity and depth of the Aubrey-Maturin novels, I could never get past the arcane dialogue, excessive detail, or extended discussions where nothing much seems to happen (I am referring to the opening of the Yellow Admiral). Basically the barrier to entry was too high and I either got bored or discouraged and moved on to something else.
By contrast, Dowswell is accessible and moves with the speed of a 19th Century British Frigate. In addition to modernizing speech, he streamlines ship details by focusing on "big issues" such as the injustice of being press ganged, the deplorable conditions aboard ship, and the rhythm of daily life and battle. He gives us enough detail that scenes and characters feel real - we can hear the creak of the ship, smell the tar, excrement, and salty sea air, feel the fear of climbing in the rigging and facing enemies in battle, and sympathize with the desolation of sailors who cannot hack the claustrophobia of ship life.
The book is tagged "young adult." But this is an artificial label. Okay, sex is downplayed and it is less gritty than Aubrey-Maturin novels. But from speaking to friends and from the several hundred pages I've read of O'Brien, I'd say this novel is just as authentic, action packed, violent, and moving. You may not walk away able to identify every sale on the frigate or throw around seafaring slang of the early 19th century, but you will have some idea of what it was like to be a boy in the British navy of the time. Highly recommended.
The characters are all fantastic and you can see how much the writer has enjoyed writing this book. H ebetter hurry up and write the sequel otherwise I might explode with excitement.
if you don't buy this book then you are missing out on a wonderful experience that everyone can enjoy
Some of the fighting scenes are so exciting and wild that you almost can't read on for fear of what might happen.
This book has to be one of the best childrens books to have come out in a long time, it has great characters, nail-biting plots and terrifying battles. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in pirates, the old navy or history in general it is a fantastic read and must be bought immediatley without delay.
I will be keeping an eye out for the many awards it will soon be gathering around it.
I can't wait for the next one!!!!!!!!!
An enjoyable, descriptive style that thrusts you into this young man's world. The beauty of the writing is that it works if you are a young adult or adult alike. I have purchased the follow up novel to this (yet to be read) and it is nestled within my book pile 'to read'.
A sea-salty recommended!
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This was not a book Seoul have chosen to read however it was not terrible