Friday, April 16, 2010

THE BARBARY PIRATES by William Dietrich

Publisher: Harper Collins
Date published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-156796-4
Historical, Suspense, Action Adventure
Obtained via Library
Reviewed by Gina

Ethan Gage is back. Back in France and while he’s doing his best to reform from his lazy, gambling, womanizing lifestyle, a man can only change so much so fast. Meeting up with an expatriate Englishman, a French friend and fellow American Robert Fulton, he resumes, or at least tries to resume, his avocation as a savant. Napoleon, however, has other plans in mind for his emissary. That is after Gage and his friends are brought to him so Gage can explain himself. Before he knows it he’s on his way to the tiny island of Thira in search of Archimedes fire mirror. He’s not on Thira very long before his old friend...make that nemesis, Aurora once again enters his life. With her she brings the mysterious Egyptian Rite. Not the nicest person in the world, especially in her bid for world domination, she has arranged for the capture of Ethan’s one great love, Astiza. When he and Astiza meet again he learns that he is a father. With his young son, Horus, Ethan’s mission to find the mysterious mirror becomes a matter of life and death and the Egyptian, Rite will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.

I eagerly awaited the arrival of the fourth in the Ethan Gage Adventure series, THE BARBARY PIRATES from the moment I finished book 3, the Dakota Cipher. William Dietrich has a marvelous knack for combining adventure, action, history and a dashing hero into one marvelous read. I’ve read all of his books and to date Hadrian’s Wall is still my all time favorite with Scourge of God a close second. The first three Ethan Gage books captured my imagination and swept me into the adventure. I’m not sure what happened with THE BARBARY PIRATES, but the story just didn't work for me. Mr. Dietrich still writes a fast paced adventure, but I felt that science and inventions took the place of fascinating characters and witty dialogue. Aurora’s constant threat to sentence Astiza and Horus to the worst life a slave can live became a bit tiresome. I found myself wondering more than a few times what led the author down the dark path he leads his readers on with Aurora. Some of her actions were a bit over the top.

I would recommend THE BARBARY PIRATES for readers who want to catch up with Ethan and know where he has been for the next book in the series. I look forward to that one if for no other reason than to see if vintage Dietrich returns.


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