Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods by Kate Inglis

Growing up in a family where books were firmly part of the culture, it was unthinkable that a Christmas should pass without at least a few of the neat, flat packages that indicated a book. The ones from my father were always extra special. He’d pay special attention and know just what I was hoping for -- usually something with horses, so I guess it wasn’t that much of a challenge -- and he’d buy the prettiest edition he could find.

I thought of all of these things when I first saw Kate Inglis’ The Dread Crew (Nimbus). It’s a good book -- sure it is, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But before you ever experience the story, you see that it really is a pretty book. One I think my father might have selected for me, with all the other circumstances being right. There’s something lasting and promising and deliciously old-timey about the cover and binding of The Dread Crew. And that’s all right, because Inglis and her band of merry men deliver on all of those promises.

“Under the darkest cloak of night,” Inglis begins, “her cats are first to sense the rumble.”

The Dread Crew is a tale of imagination and friendship. Having found some fairly unmistakable signs, young Eric Stewart sets himself up as a pirate hunter. He tracks a band of backwoods pirates and -- just as he’s sure he’s about to come upon them -- all of the signs disappear. It turns out Grampa Joe has been hiding the band of pirates on his property, but even Grampa Joe might not be able to hide them when the Pirate Union tries to track them down.

This is a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered. A debut work from a confident writer I feel sure will delight us again in the future.

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Blogger sweetsalty kate said...

What a wonderful surprise to see the Dreads in such company - I'm so glad you liked the book. Yours is the first review I've read from someone wholly unconnected to me - you know, not my mom - and it makes me trust you. Which is scary, and exposing, and just... wow. It's a wonderful trip. Thank you.

(I've linked to you on my author blog - - hope that's okay.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12:12:00 PM PST  

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