Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: Harper

Released: November 24, 2009

ISBN: 978-0061929373

Teaser quote:
On a privateering raid, any man who tried to conceal a part of the general booty was always put to death. Hunter himself had shot more than one thieving seaman through the heart and kicked the corpse overboard without a second thought. (pg. 33)

My rating: 3.5/5

My thoughts:
It took a few days after reading for me to start this review & I don't normally do that. The reason: I really wasn't sure where to start & how to rate this.

This is not a Disney Pirates of the Caribbean version of pirates, this is the story of the real thing. It is the story of one Captain Charles Hunter. Set in Jamaica 1665, Port Royal is a "miserable, overcrowded, cut-throat town", governed by a corrupt Sir James Almont. Looting wasn't allowed but privateering raids against the Spanish were encouraged. When word gets out that a ship carrying treasure is sitting in a nearby harbour, an expedition spearheaded by Hunter was set in motion. Only the best were brought in as this was not a quest for the faint at heart. The ship was near a fortress guarded by Cazalla - notorious for his barbaric acts. This is were the story starts to get good, filled with storms, fighting, cannons blasting & even cannibals and sea monsters. (SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD) Although he makes it home alive (I'm not going to tell you if they were successful) there was no welcoming party. And what he comes back home to, is not what he was expecting! I have to stop here as this is were is gets REALLY good & I don't want to give anything away :)

It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that the pirate story developed into something somewhat exciting. The last 50 pages were the real page turners and the ending blew me away. It was fast-paced, shocking, OMG what's going to happen...exactly what I expect from Crichton. Now you can see why I had a hard time rating this one - did those last 50 pages make up for the super slow buildup? I kinda think they did.

Pirate Latitudes was discovered on one of Crichton's computers by his assistant after the author's death, along with another unfinished novel. Steven Spielberg is developing a film & has hired David Koepp, the writer who adapted Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World” for the big screen, to write the screenplay.


  1. I didn't know that this was discovered on his computer after his death. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything about it right after he died. I hope they'll also release the other one they found.
    I miss Michael, even though I didn't know him or anything.

  2. Interesting. I'm not a big pirate fan, unless that pirate is Johnny Depp on a huge theater screen.
    I didn't realize this was being made into a movie. Great review.

  3. I've been eagerly awaiting this book for a while, and yours is the first review I've read on it. It's too bad that it starts off slow, but the way you describe the ending makes me excited to read it!

    I had no idea it was being made into a move, either. I'll have get around to reading it way before any movie clips are released :)

  4. Brizmus ~ I'm curious about the unfinished book too!

    Stacybuckeye ~ lol

    alitareads ~ I was so excited to read this so maybe I started off with high expectations hence I felt it started slow? With Spielberg working on the movie, it should be awesome :)

  5. Love this review! The story sounds good all on its own, but the "it was found on the author's computer after he died" element just makes it sound better.

    I also wanted to say that I'm really enjoying your blog so far and am now a follower- I love reading your posts!

    What Book is That?

  6. Emily ~ thanks for stopping by :) Crichton was such a great writer, we are so lucky to have had this opportunity! (though I do wonder if he ever thought it was good enough/he was finished all edits to want it pubished? I guess we'll never know)

  7. Thanks for your review, I have this on my wishlist and I still can't wait to read it. I hope it will not be to disappointing like The Lost Symbol.