Monday, June 18, 2007
New Reviews - Set the Seas on Fire
Publishers Weekly has reviewed Set the Seas on Fire in this week's issue.
"Roberson adds a pulpy twist to Napoleonic-era naval adventure as the crew of a damaged English frigate finds both paradise and hell on a pair of uncharted Pacific islands. First Lt. Hieronymus Bonaventure, last seen in Paragaea (2006), serves gamely aboard the HMS Fortitude, but longs for something more exciting than harrying galleons across the South Pacific for an aging captain dreaming of padding his retirement stash. When the Fortitude is badly damaged and blown into 'mare incognita,' the 'unknown sea,' the crew manages to reach a tropical island where the natives are friendly and the ship can be repaired. An attack by bat-winged creatures foreshadows the danger awaiting on the forbidden island of 'first volcano,' where Bonaventure leads his men when his native lover, Pelani, is kidnapped. Roberson delivers a fairly standard but well-crafted adventure story for most of the book before delving into the supernatural. The novel is a good bet for adventure fans who want more than your average Horatio Hornblower clone."Meanwhile, the UK magazine Sci Fi Now has also reviewed the book.
Chris Roberson is best known for his Here, There And Everywhere, and his Shark Boy And Lava Girl Adventures series, although his short stories have been finalist for World Fantasy and Sidewise awards for a good reason. He possesses a unique talent and his tales boast a refreshing originality.
Set The Seas On Fire occurs during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s. The crew are sailing uncharted waters aboard the HMS Fortitude, with the brave and interestingly named Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure. Or hero does a grand job of bravely salvaging the incompetent crew from a variety of dangers, his boredom only abating while he is saving the day and the grateful crew from the relentless attacks. When they hole up on an island uninvited, the natives are a little displeased...
There is plenty of timber-shivering and manly shouts of ‘all hands on deck’ in this sea-faring romp, but despite its fast-paced action, it does start slowly, and Roberson takes his time to deliver the exciting finale. The sailor jargon does grow tiresome, but generally, Set The Seas On Fire is a well written deviation from the genre, with satisfying finish and battles aplenty to keep you gripped. Be patient, and adjust to your sea-legs you will...