I wanted to have read Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack before the release of Boyack’s latest adventure, ‘H.M.S. Lanternfish’. And I almost made it (I was a few days behind in finishing)! This way, when I started reading reviews about ‘H.M.S’, I wasn’t going to have any spoilers for ‘Voyage’ sneak up on me! Sound thinking, right?
So now, I’m going to have to review ‘Voyage’ without spoiling anything for those of you out there who haven’t yet hopped aboard this series. Let’s see if I’m up to the task…
I’m a big fan of C.S. Boyack. He displays creativity, a unique imagination, and pumps a lot of heart into his books. You can usually find an assortment of interesting characters, and ‘Voyage of the Lanternfish’ has these guys in abundance. Funnily enough, it wasn’t the main character (James), or even the chief sidekick (Dan) who hooked me in, it was the vast array of supporting characters. Wise Mal (easily a favourite), feisty Serang, bumbling Biscuit Bill, irrepressible Boss, even Mule won me over despite only being introduced near the end of the adventure. There’s someone for everyone to cheer on aboard the Lanternfish.
A nicely unfolding story set in a make-believe world that you could dead-set believe was real, offers action, adventure, and even some supernatural shenanigans (root monsters, ya ya!). Also, it wouldn’t be a Boyack book without some wry humour tucked among the cannon battles and swordfights:
“He isn’t our problem,” James said.
“He eats people.”
“So has our surgeon. So do your dogs.”
‘Voyage’ is certainly a more grandiose adventure than other titles I’ve read by Boyack, say for example, ‘The Hat’, and juggles a huge cast of characters, and multiple overlapping goals. Despite such size and scope, each character gets his or her turn in the limelight, which is great, though I’d like to see more emotional interplay between the characters. This only being book 1 in a series, however, I expect that will follow as these miscreants enjoy more adventures together.
The detail about pirate ships and weapons of the time period is extremely thorough, and it’s clear Boyack either did a ton of research or else was a pirate in another life! It made the story all the more believable.
If you’re looking for a fun rollicking ride filled with pirates, monsters, and adventure, hop aboard, and take a ‘Voyage of the Lanternfish’.
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