Clash of the Rival Robots (Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates) by Gareth P Jones
|Clash of the Rival Robots (Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates) by Gareth P Jones|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A book that has the flavour of closing a trilogy, which is a disappointment with quality like this.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: August 2015|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
We learn a lot about the world of the Steampunk Pirates in this volume of their adventures. While having had references to Britain fighting France before now, we find the location matters more than last time, as we head back to England. The Pirates have been told of a way to get into the Tower of London to steal the Crown Jewels. We also learn a lot about their upbringing, if you can call it that – certainly more than last time, as we see what made them piratical in the first place, which was a surprise to their inventor when it happened. But you never know, they may be about to face a showdown against said scientist – and, worse, his next generation of robots. If only they perhaps had been programmed to avoid temptation…
If you haven't met the Steampunk Pirates before, now is just as good a place to start as any. This world has to be lauded for the matter-of-fact way it goes about its unusual business – taking a brawny, steamy pirate captain, a wound-up (literally) first mate, his gutsy, Scottish-seeming colleague, and the one with a rolodesk dictionary for a brain. And the robot parrot called Twitter. And the female cabin boy with a link to their past as well as their future. Take it all on board (pun intended) and you can set sail with a friendly, wacky adventure without really missing what's come before.
Certainly the wackiness was less evident here than the previous book, but the flavour of these pages was most strong regardless. Here is a Return of the Jedi sensibility – the man behind the very Pirates, with all his motives and activity, and the much more modern Stormtroopers (sorry, Electrical Soldiers) he's come up with since the Pirates first made their way across the main. It's a roustabout action adventure, with double-crossing, a great sense of futility and beaten heroes, and meaty drama. And foot massages. So even if we lose some of the utterly odd-ball, we get a real sense of the world here as being a quite singular one. Having said the steampunk elements had been a little weak, here we get more of a sense of scientific progress, the fight for individuality and more of a grounding on our Earth – some things firmly belonging to the genre. Once again it's very pleasing, especially for the 8-12s, and this series is well worth a recommendation. I feel it could run and run, but with this book having a clear sense of returning to whence it came, I can see reasons for a full stop now. Either way I was more than happy to spend the time reading this volume.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
If young readers fancy being a (less robotic) pirate, they might enjoy the gift book item The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook: A Guide to Swashbuckling with the Pirates of the Caribbean by Jason Heller. If they prefer solid ground underneath their feet, they should enjoy Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! by Dave Cousins, which is a pleasurable drama for the same audience.
You can read more book reviews or buy Clash of the Rival Robots (Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates) by Gareth P Jones at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Clash of the Rival Robots (Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates) by Gareth P Jones at Amazon.com.
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