Monday, July 9, 2012
Review: The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Sea Wolves by Christopher Golden
Author: Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
Publisher: HarperCollins, Feb. 2012
Series: Secret Journeys of Jack London #2
The first book in this series, The Wild, frustrated me so much that I ran right out and picked up the second one from my library the next day. Now mind you, I work at said library so it's not like I went extraordinarily out of my way, but I might have done so if necessary. There's a stark wildness about these books that appeals to me, plus I desperately need to know if the character Jack develops into by the end of the first book carries through successfully into the second.
The Sea Wolves picks up immediately after where The Wild leaves off. Headed for home to assure his mother that he's still among the land of the living (hover-parents should chew on the idea of the communication capabilities in the eighteen hundreds for a moment) when his ship is attacked by pirates. And, as it happens, these are no ordinary pirates. In his valiant attempt to stave off the attack, or at least save lives aboard his own ship, Jack manages to become a prisoner aboard the pirate ship. He quickly learns that his survival is dependent upon his quick wits, which have at least temporarily earned him favor in the eyes of the captain. He is not the only prisoner on board, and soon the survival of a trapped young woman lies in his young but determined hands.
The Sea Wolves is a fantastic high seas adventure with a most terrifying paranormal touch. Jack is certainly more realized as a character, and his escapades left me breathless. I read this book in one evening. There are more supporting characters in this go 'round as well, and most of them are very well developed. There were a couple that could have used some more time, but it is all about Jack so it's forgivable. I cared about Jack, his choices, and his fate much more here. Christopher Golden leaves no lag time, and readers are jerked through the pages from one intense moment to the next, Jack and his allies (?) facing both physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
The ending left me pulling at my hair going, "Seriously? We're leaving this here?" There's a hint of a third book on Golden's website, and clearly that's where this leads. No word on a possible pub date for book three that I could find, which is sad.
Egads. This series.
If you like adventure stories, paranormal YA, or suspense, this book might be for you. If you're on the fence because of the first one, skip it. This story, while it alludes to the first book, gives you enough of a bridge so that you won't be lost, but not so big a bridge that it's annoying. (You know what I'm talking about, former BabySitter's Club readers.)
The Sea Wolves, as part of a package with The Wild, has been optioned for film by Fox.
Liam Hemsworth for Jack, anyone?