Sorry I'm late, everyone.
Charming. Fresh. Enticing. Original. Slug-smackin' good time.
When my copy of The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods by Kate Inglis finally arrived, I put down Jane Eyre and delved into this new treat immediately. I have to say: this is a marvelous first novel. I have commenced picketing for the movie.
She really did a phenomenal job setting the tone of the book with the diction, and from the very first line of the prologue. I loved how each character, from Missy to Joe to Willie to Hector, all had their own spin on the quaint language of New Germany. So entertaining, just how you'd want pirates to talk -- not expect them to -- want them to talk.
In fact, what I did expect was more elusiveness on the part of the pirates. The back of the book hints at Eric's story, tracking them through the woods, using clues they've dropped from their Barrow along the way. But in fact, you get to know the pirates (and Grandpa Joe) much more intimately than you ever do Eric. And these pirates, elusive? Getting the Stewarts' peacocks and goats to get along would be an easier task. But that is what makes this book a pleasure. "Honey lessons." So perfect.
What I loved most about this book was its accessibility. It was so hard to pin down an age group for it, which in the end, who cares? That means it's great for any age, and I think that's going to lend to its success. Children, adults, and tweens can all enjoy it. I imagined my mom reading it to me when I was little. The excitment in the storyline, plus the well-developed plot, plus its length (not too short, not too long!) will also make it a great re-read for me as an adult -- something I can read while I eat a bowl of soup, or vacation, or just plain need a break from real life.
I hope there will be a sequel, but this book stands on its own. Congratulations, Kate, and thanks again for sharing the launch of your tremendous accomplishment with me.
Next Up: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (for real this time)