Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jonny Gibbings' review of PIRATES

I'm not sure where to start with Greg Cummings 'Pirates', what I will say though, is it is a wonderful book. If you, like me, started out reading popular books that had a romping pace, the stuff like Robert Ludlum and Wilbur Smith and you loved the roller coaster plot, but soon got bored of them because they quickly lacked substance. So you started reading novels with more bite. Pirates has every bit the plot and pace of epic yarns but also has a unique depth and integrity, effortlessly weaving around serious issues and the politics of deepest Africa.

Pirates is the tale of a Safari guide and who happens upon his believed to be dead friend Jonny Oceans, who recruits him to help him re-enter Somalia. However things are not what they seem. The reader is taken through the Gulf of Aden, facing jihadists from Al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab, a different understanding of Somali pirates and Somalia itself. I imagine many base their view on Somalia as I do on films such as Black Hawk Down and on news footage of AK-47 toting pirates. Greg shows us proud people fighting to keep Puntland independent in the face of growing pressure from Muslim extremists, through beautiful, tight t-shirt wearing, skinny jeans loving matriarch Kahdija. Where Pirates excels is that it uses real issues as plot points, not the plot itself. Greg has so many plot points that fragment, leaving you in suspense as you just know they are in a funnel and will all meet at a singular event. While there is real tension, and real issues, the story is all adventure and drama with some brilliantly funny parts. There are some far-fetched elements that are Indiana Jones over the top, such as the Vulture/drone bit, but you don't mind, simply as it is infused with such reality and drama that it balances it out. The story builds and builds to such a fantastic end once you have read through twist after twist. With US Navy drones, CIA Spy's, treasure, kidnap gunfights and romance. This is a brave book and Greg pulls it off, the result is simply staggering and a truly epic read.

Follow the buzz at Pirate Yarns: http://pirateyarns.blogspot.com

Jonny Gibbings is the author of 'Malice in Blunderland' (Cutting Edge Press) and you can follow his blog here.


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