Review - Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): A Window To The Past by John Williams [Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban soundtrack].

As an undercover superhero, I make it my duty as WriterGirl to bring forward amazing fiction and save them from the depths of obscurities. These are my rules:

I will focus on YA and Children's literature (with very rare exceptions).
I will not review any book that is one of the top 25,000 selling books (based on Amazon ranks).
I will try and aim for books 100,000 or larger.
I will not review books before my 2005 (with very rare exceptions).

Today is the first graphic novel review on The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl and I'm so pleased to have found such a gem as this one.

Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer
Originally published: October 22, 2008
Current Amazon Rank: #318,928
Pages: 189

First Line: ... AND he'll be here every other week to mow your lawn.

My Take: As the first in a planned 16-book series, The Crogan Adventures are to follow the line of the Crogans from pirate Catfoot Crogan down to private eye "Calloway" Crogan. It's ambitious, bold, and I love it.

I was a bit hesitant at first to pick this up because the art style. At first glance it seems exaggerated and even Sunday-comic cartoonish. But the bold, fluid lines give as much or more emotion than a more realistic detailed depiction could. It becomes fairly easily to slip beyond into the story. Because the story is in fact very good.

Set in a "frame story" (like Scheherazade) it follows the adventures of a young, honest sailor Crogan under the command of a Captain who has a vendetta against his family. His fortunes quickly change (but not necessarily for the better) when the crew is forced to turn pirate to stay alive.

It was really interesting to see shades of gray on the "bad" side. So while he is a thieving, stealing pirate, he still manages to show mercy and unflinching courage. And even better? This is historically accurate. Chris Schweizer spent hours upon hours pouring over pirate books (and even wrote/drew all of this to pirate music) :) to make this as cool and correct as possible. And he is showing that same devotion to all the books he is writing about (which include ninjas, a marksman, gunfighter, WWI pilot, legionnaire, escape artist- just to name a few). So you can excuse this fun, swashbuckling high-seas adventures as a learning experience, but it goes down easy, like a delicious hot fudge sundae. :) I read this in a setting and am quite eager for the next book to come out this Christmas (Crogan's March - the French Legionnaire), though I sincerely hope we will return to a lovable now-favorite pirate of mine. :)

The Final Word: Great fun, a wonderful read with memorable characters you will certainly like and possibly love. Different, but in a very good way.