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Voyage of Slaves (2006)

av Brian Jacques

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Serier: Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (3)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
426443,981 (4.05)5
Continuing their adventures through space and time, Ben and his faithful dog, Ned, find themselves in the Mediterranean region in 1703, befriended by a troupe of traveling entertainers and relentlessly pursued by ruthless Barbary slave traders.
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Visar 4 av 4
Substance: Backtracks from the first book published in the series, to an adventure in the 18th-century Mediterranean. For a hundred-year old man in boy's guise, Ben isn't always as clever as he should be.
Style: Manages to convey the horror of slavery but still contains a good deal of naivete, for the junior reader. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 15, 2012 |
The Flying Dutchman is a ship cursed to sail the seas for eternity without rest or harbour. Ben and Ned, the two innocents on board when the crew was cursed by an Angel of the Lord, share only in immortality and instead roam the world as they can, following the Angel's command to help all they can. Their most recent adventure lands them with a travelling troupe of performers in the clutches of a slave trader called Al Misurata. Aside from escaping themselves, both Ben and Ned know they must rescue their new friends and, if possible, put a stop to the evil man. However, their past is a complicated one that cannot be explained to just anyone, and even as the wretched Captain Vanderdecken persues them in their nightmares, Ben faces perhaps his most challenging problem to date: falling in love with a normal girl.

This book is a sequel. Actually, it's a third. But I'm tempted to label it, not only my favorite, but the best of the three stories. The first novel, The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman was half back story half new adventure--it's moderately difficult to have a randomly immortal boy and dog that go about saving folks without actually having a reason as to why. Even Dr. Who has a backstory. Quite an intense and complex one, too, it would seem. Book two, The Angel's Command, is also split down the middle as two stories. This book falls back on the Redwall standby of having the book dubdivided into three books and then chapters throughout, with the books being nothing more than sort of act markers for a play. The book, physically about the same size as the others, is one story from first page to last and allows Jacques to play with more maneuvers and action while also developing his side characters. Sort of. As the sea would allow, there are actually several change overs from ship to ship, regularly presenting new friends to help Ben and Ned on their mission.

Being the third in the series, this is not really an easy book to pick up and read standalone. Throughout the text, there are numerous references to the previous written adventures [all footnoted with the title to which you would look for them] and even a few brief explanations, but I would venture to say that a new reader to the series would find these more obnoxious than helpful. Actually, even as a returning reader, I found them to be kind of obnoxious. [The footnotes for the few non-English words were quite helpful, though. I learned a few pieces of German and Italian.] But if a reader can get over the oddities of the premise and arrangements and approach this book for the children's adventure that it is, well, it is more than enjoyable. There are all the things, I think, that should be found in a rousing and properly exciting sea-faring adventure. Ships, enemies, friends, fights, cannons, a storm or two... There is always something going on, as well, with the perspective following Ben and Ned for starters [together or apart], the performing troupe in their captivity and sometimes even the baddies behind closed doors.

Some, including myself originally, may be a bit in the way of a doubting Thomas about reading yet another Jacques book, though. He has always provided action and pacing, but some of the later Redwall novels began to get a bit predictable. The first Castaways book felt like a Redwall in several ways. There were your main underdog [sorry Ned] protagonists, some supernatural help, a large seemingly overwhelming evil to face and some riddles. Voyage steers more clear of ilk, completely free of riddles and suspending the supernatural presence and assistance of the Angel for the main bulk of the text. [Basically, it bookends the story, with an appearance at the beginning and end.] True, Vanderdecken and the Dutchman appear throughout, but a psychotic evil Captain who got himself damned to an eternity of sailing and vowing to catch you and drag you along with him would be, I imagine, hard to shake.

Rip-roaring until the end, Voyage of the Slaves is an excellent piece of light reading, about perfect for summertime poolside. Just be carefull you don't doze too deeply lest you be chased by Vanderdecken as well. ( )
2 rösta LeslitGS | Jun 7, 2011 |
This book is about a boy named Ben and his dog Ned as they try to rescue their new friends, the Rizouly troup, from the clutches of the evil slaver Misurata. as they traveld the seas first on the slavers ship, the Sea Dijnn, quickly escaping and helping a ship called the White Ram, then riding the ship, the Blue Turtle, he found his way to the Istrany Wolves, a group of smugglers, who helped him all the way to the port befor the Sea Dijnn. Once there, they got the kidnapped Rizouly troupe and found themselves in a monestary. as they were having a party and entertaining the nuns, Captain Misurata lord of the Barbary coast came and attacked them. During the fight, Ben was cut on his right shoulder and Misurata, his stersman, Serafina, and Ned fell over the side of the cliff. When ben woke up, he was on the Blue Turtle and was heading to his next adventure.
I realy liked this book because it was full of adventures of the high seas! ( )
  Darthtony0 | Mar 31, 2011 |
Children's Books Too Cool For School

This is yet another advance that I never got around to reading when it was new but, sadly, this one didn't come as a particularly pleasant surprise. Not that it looked like it was going to be exactly my thing, what with the boy beating on a shark with an oar on the cover and everything, but, you know, sometimes books surprise me despite their odious covers.

So this is, apparently, the third book in a series called "Castaways of the Flying Dutchman." I'm going to admit right off the bat that I have not read the previous books in the series, which may have affected my opinion of this book. Although, since I didn't have any trouble understanding what had happened to Ned and Ben in the previous books, I'm afraid this one might have rehashed too much ground as well. However, that is pretty much a baseless theory.

As previous books must have explained, Ben and his dog Ned served on the ship The Flying Dutchman and when the ship was cursed, they were spared the fate of the rest of the ship's evil inhabitants, but for reasons that are quite unclear to me, they were still cursed to wander the earth and live eternally.

In this latest installment of their wanderings, they end up initially separated -- Ned (the dog) bumping into a traveling circus, and Ben being sold to a slave trader. They meet up again when the circus is brought to the slave trader's house to preform. Frankly, I don't feel like I can describe a great deal more without giving away too much of the plot.

Perhaps it was the nature of the locations and settings, but I found this story to be rather rife with stereotypes. There were some very good and helpful Christians and Jews, and some rather bad Arabs who kept referring to the white Ben as an "infidel" and were horrified of his dog. Two of the circus members were black women, and very much treated as the exotic "other." There were several Italians, who said, "Mama Mia" and the like, and probably more I am forgetting.

On the other hand, there were some rather entertaining, swashbuckling sort of moments, and the book maintained fairly good suspense throughout. The banter between Ned and Ben (oh, I forgot to mention they could speak to each other telepathically, didn't I?) was humorous enough, as well. If slightly unbelievable.

However, the book left me, by and large, unsatisfied and occasionally offended. Not to mention rather feeling rather tired of its endless moral lessons. I don't have any real desire to read the previous books, nor will I snatch up the next installment, when it comes out. Might be good for boys ages 9-12 who like adventure, sword fights, piracy and the like. ( )
  C.Vick | Sep 5, 2007 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Brian Jacquesprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Koelsch, MichaelOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wyatt, DavidOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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The legend of the Flying Dutchman is known to all men who follow the seafaring trade. (foreword to Book One)
From cloudless, azure vaults, the great golden eye of the sun shone down on the sea below.
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Continuing their adventures through space and time, Ben and his faithful dog, Ned, find themselves in the Mediterranean region in 1703, befriended by a troupe of traveling entertainers and relentlessly pursued by ruthless Barbary slave traders.

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