My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Have you ever met a pirate? Then how do you know if what is said about them is true? They swash buckles and ooze charm, seduce women and pillage merchants. They are diabolically intelligent, black hearted, romantic, and handsome. Or so we’re told. But what about more important things like ham and beard growing and sea shanties? Sea monsters and poems and wooing mermaids?
Gideon Defoe is something of a comedic genius. He pulls literary and historic characters into his world of pirating shenanigans led by the ever commanding Pirate Captain – a man known for his nautical prowess and indefatigable problem solving skills. Any short comings that he most certainly does not have are made up by the closest member of his crew, namely the Pirate with a Scarf. It is a motley crew, no doubt, comprised of men from all corners of Europe and even one lady who has escaped the confines of a Victorian England parlor. Oddly, for pirates, they do seem so spend much of their time on land versus the water, but don’t tell the Pirate Captain I’ve said so.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is the first installment of five in this novelette series. Tricked by the Pirate Captain’s arch-frenemy, Black Bellamy, into believing a certain ship was loaded with gold the pirate crew run into not-yet-famed scientist Charles Darwin on his journey to great discoveries aboard his ship the HMS Beagle. Destroying it in the process and taking on the new passenger. Determined to help Darwin in his quest the pirates some how end up in America at P.T. Barnum’s circus. I’ll let you figure out just how.
Though packed with nonsensical logic and romping adventure where at least one person will be run through by the end, the footnotes are filled with tidbits of information which are often informative, but mostly loaded with facts about Defoe’s motherland that otherwise would be deemed as useless knowledge. They add to the depth of the book and remind the reader that though in the Victorian era where pirating is coming to an end, the story truly is timeless and without a concrete era. Also, it’s been turned into a 3D stop motion movie.
Scientists was my first introduction to the series and one which fueled a purchase frenzy to gather the other books as quickly as possible. For sensible chuckles and a break from everyday life, these books are the perfect dosage of humor, history, adventure, and the appreciation of one man’s ability to intertwine them all together. I highly recommend this series to any and all.
The Pirate! Series: