Posted by Venus on Saturday, February 15, 2014
Labels: intermediate book review
In the future, pirating isn't just a space thing, but a family affair. Tycho Hashoone's family has been pirating for centuries except now they have privateer's license and their pirating business is completely legal. Tycho and his two siblings, are not only part of one of the greatest pirate...err...privateer vessels this side of Jupiter, but they are also in competition with one another to see who will become the next ship's captain. When the Hashoones find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy that may just draw the entire galaxy into another civil war, it is up to Tycho and his family to find out the truth in a way that only a true pirate can.
A high seas adventure set in space, The Jupiter Pirates is a classic pirate story with a futuristic twist. There are some great antagonists, serious stakes, and kids who are allowed to be the heroes without question. However, unlike many piratical adventures this one was lacking on some world building. (aka history) There are hints of a war, battles fought, family histories, political conspiracies, none of which was highlighted. Then again, to have such a story you would have to have a lot thicker book and the pacing may have been slowed a bit.
I did love the family dynamics. Not only are the parents very present, a rarity in children's adventure stories, but there was also an interesting although a bit cantankerous grandfather. In fact, I think the grandfather was probably my favorite character. The sibling rivalry seems harsh, but there was always an underlying love between the siblings. I was a little fuzzy on their servants/fighting men/sailors, but even those men felt like a reverent extension of their family. Or perhaps it was more like the Upstairs Downstairs hierarchy, with them treating even the children like they were something special just because they were Hashoones.
On the whole the story was an exciting romp through space, but it never loses that high seas feeling, never quite felt like a space story, but rather a rehash of an old story I had read many times before. The originality is all in the fact that it is set and space and without the necessary world building, it didn't quite feel like enough. Perhaps there will be a bit more world building in the coming sequels, although I may be happy if there is just a bit more of the grandfather.