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Pirates! (a Weekly Geek interview)

September 8, 2008

Pirates! by Celia ReeseThis is, I think, my favourite of Dewey’s Weekly Geek ideas! Each participant teams up with another blogger, and they interview each other about a book they’ve read recently. I chose to talk about Pirates! by Celia Rees and Chris of Book-a-rama came up with some great questions!

I just read a synopsis of this and it sounds really interesting. I remember seeing a documentary on female pirates. Did you find Pirates to be an accurate depiction of female pirates or was it fantastical?
Well, I don’t have any background in 1700s pirate history, but the book definitely intended to be an accurate depiction. The reader learns quite a bit about the sugar trade, and how intertwined it was with slavery and misery. The book was a lot more intelligent than the title, cover, and blurb led me to believe. So I was quite pleasantly surprised.

I just love the cover and would have picked it up just for that reason! What made you pick up Pirates?
I think I’d read a good review somewhere around the blogosphere, so when I was in the library looking for books on CD for my road trip out to California, this one looked like fun. I mean, YA and swashbuckling!

Pirates is recommended for young people, grades 6-9. Do you think it was well written for that age group? Would you recommend this book to adults?
I’d definitely recommend this book to adults-I’m an adult, and I not only enjoyed it but was actually quite impressed. Rees is a very talented author: she can bring settings to life, her characters (even villains, who are very very bad) feel like people, and her plotting is just right. I also think it was well-written for its ‘target’ age group; there is a little bit of violence and sexuality, but not a lot by any means, and it’s essentially a coming-of-age story, which always resonates at that age.

Without giving too much away, how did the friendship between the two girls develop?
The reader finds out at the beginning that Nancy, the main character, is on a journey from England to Jamaica after her father’s death. She meets Minerva, a house slave, at her family’s plantation in Jamaica; the two are similar in age and get along really well. Then something happens that pretty much bonds them for life!

Pirates seems like a ‘girl power’ type of book. Was it? Did you like the female characters? What about the other characters?
It’s definitely a girl power book! And yay for that. ;) Both Nancy and Minerva are quite determined young ladies, although they aren’t perfect of course. At the same time, though, Rees is aware that the early 1700s was not a ‘I am girl! Hear me roar!’ time period. Before I started the book, I was highly skeptical she could balance such a contradiction, but (recalling that I’m not a historian) I think it works. As I mentioned earlier, Rees has a real gift for characters. And while the bad guys are very, very bad, most of the characters are mixed, which I always appreciate. So much more realistic.

Is this book a stand alone story or is there room for a sequel?
Both? It’s definitely a stand-alone story, but the ending is quite open. I know why Rees wrote it like that, but it still disappointed me a little. I’m not going to give too much away, but I had to imagine my perfect ending since the actual book stops earlier in Nancy’s life than I would have preferred. So I’d definitely look forward to a sequel, but I don’t think it’ll happen.

Have you read anything else by Celia Rees? If so, how did the books compare?
Nope, but if Pirates! is her usual type of work, I want to go read everything!

And finally, did you like Pirates?!
I’d say that’s fairly evident by now! But the answer is definitely yes. :D

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2008 2:16 am

    I LOVE the word swashbuckling!! Buckles that swash!! Nothing really invokes a pirate image better than that word..except maybe Johnny Depp ;)

    I’ve read Celia Rees before and have really enjoyed her work, but confess to having never read a book about pirates. This must be corrected! Great interview!

  2. September 9, 2008 4:21 am

    Thanks for the great answers! I hope I do as well with yours. This was fun. Thanks for participating.

  3. September 9, 2008 8:04 am

    Pirates! is awesome! (Too many exclaimations, but this book deserves it). I read it a few months ago; it was one of those can’t put down books and I recall at one point, someone knocked on my bedroom door and I jumped, startled. Kudos to any book that could affect you like that.

    I’m a big Celia Rees fan. Witch Child (I think you recommended it to me) was also a very entertaining read, though not as exciting as Pirates! She’s got a new book slated to come out in a month or two; its called Sovay—about a highwaywomen during the French Rev. who is bent on revenge. I’m definitely checking it out!

  4. September 9, 2008 9:42 am

    Wonderful interview! Must come clean and say that this book NEVER would have caught my eye. But dang, if you didn’t make me want to head directly to the library website to see if they’ve got it.

  5. September 10, 2008 7:01 am

    This is a new to me title and after the great interviews you two did I would love to read Pirates. I am loving this weeks topic- it’s adding so many books to my TBR list!

  6. September 10, 2008 9:41 am

    Terrific interview! I had seen this book around and never really taken a second glance, but after reading your answers I am really intrigued.

  7. September 11, 2008 12:47 pm

    Well, I guess you really loved this one! I think I’ll look for it myself.

  8. September 12, 2008 7:01 pm

    A must read, I think!


    WG #16: Interviewing

  9. September 19, 2008 9:30 am

    Mariel, me too!

    Chris, thanks for interviewing me!

    TY, it does deserve excalamtion points. :D And Savoy is actually already out; I saw it at Borders when I was trying to get The Vanished.

    Debi, it wouldn’t have caught my eye either until I read a review about it somewhere!

    Icedream, it’s adding books to my TBR list too! But I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. ;)

    Joanne, I hope you give it a try!

    Dew, I totally thought I’d read the review on your blog, but I guess I’m wrong. ;)

    Gautami, it’s definitely a fun read!


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