Series: The Pirates!, Book One
Number of Pages: 224
Published: 5th January 2012
Book: For Review*
Genre: Action-Adventure, Humour, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Silly Violence, Death, Pirate Grog and Pirate Swearing
No Drug References
Author's Site: Gideon Defoe
It is 1837, and for the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain and his rag-tag pirate crew, life on the high seas has become a little dull. With nothing to do but twiddle their hooks and lounge aimlessly on tropical beaches, the Captain decides it’s time they had an adventure.
A surprisingly successful boat raid leads them to the young Charles Darwin, in desperate need of their help. And so the pirates set forth to London in a bid to save the scientist from the evil machinations of a diabolical Bishop. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, the Elephant Man – and have an exciting trip to the zoo.
The pirates are getting bored of lounging about on beaches, choosing between yummy fruits and seeing the native women wandering about topless. Therefore, the Pirate Captain decides it’s time to set sail… for an adventure!
But after accidently attacking Charles Darwin’s ship, the pirates agree to help the desperate young scientist, and go to London. They have to rescue Charles’ brother from a diabolical Bishop and get Mister Bobo, the Man-panzee, accepted in high society. And once on land, they are distracted by the zoo, Coco Pops and a Pirate – sorry, Pork Convention. To make their trip worse, there are a series of horrible murders, and disappearing women. Quite the adventure!
I love pirates, mainly thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean! But I wasn’t expecting to LOVE this! And I really did. It had a totally juvenile yet grown up sense of humour, that I think both young and old could enjoy. And how can you not fall in love with a bonkers book with bonkers characters and a wonderfully bonkers plot? It was just laugh-out-loud funny and totally appealed to my somewhat immature sense of humour. Bring on Book Two please! … OR walk the plank!
The Pirate Captain (and yes, that is the only name given to him!) was respected by all his pirates, was “married to the sea” (and not because he couldn’t get a girlfriend or was a “gay pirate”) and had a fantastic beard! Bonkers, dramatic and, well, bonkers, he was just a hilarious character – one who had me constantly laughing. A dumb genius, if you ask me!
Now, cast from your mind the distinguished Charles Darwin from the science books! Meet the young, shy Charles, here to present to you the Man-panzee! No theory of evolution for this Darwin, just a theory that a properly trained money, in the right clothes, is indistinguishable from a human gentleman. Not the one you remember? Well, me either. But it was hilarious!
The Bishop of Oxford: a diabolical man, who was even worse with women than the pirate with a scarf. Which is saying something!
The writing was brilliant! It was totally addictive and laugh-out-loud funny. Written in a way both teens and adults can enjoy, it’s a great book for everyone! And so funny! Somehow – God know how – Defoe has managed to take what ought to be gruesome and ruthless and turn it into something hilarious and bonkers. I have no idea how, but it was amazing! And I just adored the footnotes – some seemed to be real facts, others were just ridiculously funny! Wonderfully simple, with a not-so-subtle-at-times adult humour, the writing was just perfect!
The plot was… well, bonkers. In its insanity, it was impossible to tell where the story was going. Unpredictable and pure insanity, the plot was as addictive as the sense of humour! I wanted to know how Darwin’s Man-panzee would work out. I wanted to see what the diabolical Bishop would get up to. I wanted to know how the Pirate Caption kept his beard so shiny! Well, maybe not that last one. But the story (and the silly pirate fights) were bananas and ever amusing.
Overall, this book was just totally bonkers! The characters, the writing, the plot… the fact that the pirate with gout somehow managed to survive being “run through” with a sword. The pirate habits and pastimes and bonkers arguments just had me cracking up. And the variety of pirates, from “the pirate dressed in green”, “the albino pirate” to the “pirate with a nut allergy”, all of which were hilarious and, well, bonkers. (Are you starting to grasp the general theme of this book?)
A funny, bonkers, light-hearted read of silliness. The Pirates was an utterly addictive book, about dim and insane pirates with a passion for ADVENTURE… and ham. And mermaids who put out. Overall, this was a fun read that had me laughing out loud and hooked to every page. (Get it? Hooked? Because they’re pirates? I’ll stop making jokes now.) A brilliantly bonkers book, I would definitely pick up Book Two!
4¼ Out of 5
4¼ Out of 5
Read this book if you liked:
The Pirates of the Caribbean Movies
Challenges It's Taking Part In:
* This book was received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review