Title: Pirate Latitudes
Author: Michael Crichton
Page Count/Review Word Count: 392
When I first picked this up, I wasn’t expecting to like it much, and I actually thought that it was likely to be a bedtime book. I think it’s because it was historical fiction, and I often find that to be kind of dry. But I shouldn’t have worried.
To be fair, Crichton is the guy that wrote Jurassic Park, and so I should have known that he’d be more than capable of writing decent historical fiction. There’s even quite a lot of gore here, which I suppose makes sense when we think about pirates and how vicious they can be.
There were also some great political moments when it comes to the way that the main town is run and what happens when the main characters decide to head off and attack the Spanish. It’s not quite Dune or Game of Thrones, but there’s still plenty there if you like a little politics in your historical fiction.
I will say that there were a few areas where I unsuspended my disbelief. For example, at the end of the book in a postscript, it was explained that two of the characters died in the Great Fire of London. For reasons, I happen to know that only a half dozen or so people are confirmed to have died in it, and so the odds of that seemed pretty unlikely.
But for the most part, I thought the book was well executed, and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering it was found as a completed manuscript after Crichton passed away. I think if it had just been scraps of a story that someone else had pulled together, it wouldn’t have been nearly as good. As it is, I think it’s underrated as a Crichton story, and definitely better than some of his others, like Sphere.
So I’d recommend picking this one up just to people in general, and to Crichton fans in particular. It’s also a good call if you’re into historical fiction or if you enjoy stuff about pirates and privateers, because there’s plenty of that to get stuck into, too. I was pretty impressed by the way that Crichton was able to handle it and by the research.