I needed a book to listen to at work and this came up in the available now selection at my library. I have never seen the movie so I don’t know if this follows it or if it is even based on the book. John Chandagnac, a puppeteer, is sailing on the Vociferous Carmichael to confront his uncle who stole his fathers fortune when it is attacked by pirates. On board are Beth Hurwood, her father Benjamin, and his doctor Leo Friend. After wounding the pirate captain, Philip Davies, with a sword fighting move he has memorized from his puppet plays Chandagnac is given the option to join the pirates or die. He starts his pirating career on the sloop the Jenny with his new pirate name Jack Shandy.
This book is set in the Caribbean at the end of the pirate era. There are references to famous pirates and well known pirate towns but it is not a historical pirate story. This leans heavy on the supernatural with voodoo, zombies, and ghost ships. Benjamin and Leo are sorceres and almost all of the pirates are proficient in vodun.
Benjamin Hurwood and Friend are in cahoots with the pirates and deliver the Vociferous Carmichael to Blackbeard as part of a bargain for delivery to the Fountain of Youth. Both are practioners of magic and have a plan to bring back Benjamin’s wife’s using Beth as a vessel and Blackbeard is trying to get rid of ghosts he acquired last time he was there. Shandy gets swept up in the pirate life and unwillingly the plan to go to Florida to find the fountain. After he finds out the plans for Beth he goes on a quest to save her and it takes him all through the Caribbean, storms and supernatural battles.
Jack is a little bit of a Marty Sue but you can’t help but root for him. The plot is pretty out there in places but the ride it takes you on is enjoyable. The pirate battles are fast paced and exciting and the section where they go into the Florida swamp is creepy. I’m usually not a pirate or nautical book reader but I enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version that was narrated by Bronson Pinchot (cousin Balki) who does a great job bringing distinct voices to a large cast of characters.