There are certain aspects about the novel which stood out for me and which I am going to point out here:
a) This book is filled with many humorous dialogs:
“No, no, the name wasn’t the issue, just the appearance you took while pronouncing it. One would think you were some Biblical character come to life. Very theatrical. Would I be able to see the pose again? Perhaps we can have a portrait made when next we land ashore.”
Even the author’s writing style takes on the same humor to some extent. I could not help but laugh out loud as I read this:
“Afterwards, John read aloud a few passages from a Bible he kept in his pocket. The worn leather and curled pages bespoke its well-used nature.”
On the other hand, passages such as “I am those you have killed… I am vengeance… I am justice…” reminded me of Christ.
b) Given its genre, the action is quite realistic most of the time and not over the top (the same can be said about the dialogs too). Although I don’t read books about pirates too much, this one compelled me to turn page after page until I reached the end. The book often takes you by surprise, so that you cannot afford to be inattentive. The action is quite swift and at the same time full of suspense:
“The three of them went up behind the guards, and Hank glanced at his companions, each nodding to indicate they were ready. In one swift motion, the guards’ mouths were muzzled and their throats slit.”
c) The one thing I liked about this book is that it seeks to question some of the well-established social notions, such as what makes someone a saint and another a sinner, or who made someone slave and another his master?
“Are all the men aboard godly men as you, John? Is slavery God’s work? What does the Bible say about slavery?”
Indeed, if you are someone of a philosophical mind, the books offers you a lot to ponder about
d) Characterization is quite sound.
e) The ending made me somewhat teary eyed; it was a fitting conclusion to such an enriching story anyways. And to think that slavery indeed exists even today in certain remote parts of the world. Sad really. No one should be made either a slave or master of others. Very well done by Mr.McLean
A table of contents would have been nice, though.