I've had a soft spot for Crichton ever since he blew my freaking mind with "Jurassic Park" when I was a wee lad. At that time I was an aspiring paleontologist and in my spare time I'd love sitting on my bedroom floor playing with fossils, reading stuff about dinosaurs and tracing dinosaur bone diagrams on wax paper. Needless to say I wasn't coolest kid around and "Jurassic Park" was pretty much my biggest wet dream come to life.
Over the years my interest in Crichton has waned quite a bit, but every once in a while I crack open one of his works and remember why I enjoy his stuff front time to time. "The Andromeda Strain" was great, "Congo" was entertaining, and "Next" was if nothing else thought provoking. Unfortunately as you most likely are aware, in 2008 Crichton passed away after a long battle with cancer. After his death a copy of "Pirate Latitudes" was discovered on his computer and luckily for us all it was published.
I'm not going to lie, the thought of Crichton writing a pirate story that takes place in the 1600s seemed a bit odd to me (What no time machines??), and perhaps he had no aspiration to ever actually publish it(apparently he completed it in '06), but much to my surprise he pulled it off masterfully. Complete with angry savages, corrupt politicians, sea monsters, witchcraft, Spanish treasure, an unsavory yet extremely likable crew of pirates, and a tough as nails Captain that would bitch slap Jack Sparrow to Davey Jones' Locker in a heartbeat, what more could you really ask for?
If you like pirates and adventure, then this is the book for you. It has adventure, fighting, gold, ships, and mystery. I enjoyed reading it and am glad they found this manuscript on his computer. I am going to miss reading his new books. I would recommend this book to a friend.
I agree with everyone who said it was a quick, fun read. I'm a pirate-lover, and this book did not disappoint. I read a few luke-warm reviews before I got the book for Christmas (right from the Amazon wish list, of course), and I was worried that it wouldn't be as enjoyable as I'd hoped... Thankfully, it was actually a GREAT book, and it engaged me enough that I finished it in just a few days, and never wanted to put it down. :)
For an unpublished manuscript, it was perfectly excellent.
I thought this was an enjoyable book. I am so glad there was no pirate lingo: no "shiver me timbers" or "avast ye maties" to be found. It was a quick read after getting through the first few chapters, which in my opinion were a little dull. This is not my usual genre and I wasn't sure I could get into a book about pirates, but there was enough action to keep my attention. I know nothing about sailing, so to be honest, some of the descriptions bored me a little. I would recommend it if you are a fan of Michael Crichton. I gave it 3 1/2 stars.
Normally, a Michael Crichton book equals a great read. This expectation just wasn't met with Pirate Latitudes. Early in the book he fleshed out the characters, really got the reader onto the ship Cassander, owned by the main character, Charles Hunter and then followed with a few great adventures.
Then after a couple great adventures you return to Port Royal where the ending drops you off, left wondering how this adventure could have such a horrid ending.
It is almost like this was written for television and he had to cut the time down to make it fit into an hour. Not worth the time spent getting into the characters.