The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves by W. Everett Prusso

Title: The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves

Author: W. Everett Prusso

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

Release Date: October 20, 2009

ISBN: 978-0979607028

Size: 288 pages, 6×9 Hardcover

Genre: YA

In the winter of 1846, 238 pioneers leave New York City for a voyage that would take them twenty-six thousand miles around South America to Honolulu, and to their final destination, San Francisco. On a warm, sultry, moonless night, off the coast of Brazil, four teenage passengers inadvertently fall overboard. Thomas, Elizabeth, Nicole and their Australian sailor friend, Matthew, find themselves stranded in dangerous waters. The Caribbean Sea and South Pacific are the backdrops for this adventure that pits the foursome in desperate contests with pirates, profiteers and scoundrels as they swash-buckle their way to California.

2 thoughts on “The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves by W. Everett Prusso”

  1. It seems in today’s literature it is popular to stress certain themes. Independence is a regularly pushed characteristic—especially in female characters—as well as following our hearts, no matter the circumstances, no matter the promises we’ve made. A disrespectful attitude in teenagers has become a common attribute, I suppose as a way for authors to make their characters feel more “round,” flawed, or possibly even relatable. But chastity is rarely an esteemed attribute in today’s characters. It has become unpopular, even a disappointment to some of the most ethically minded of readers.

    There have been two themes in Ghost Waves that have transcended the regularly acclaimed themes of today’s fiction. 1) Ghost Waves celebrates virtue and 2) it embraces the rightfulness of keeping promises as a way of honoring our elders and parents. I don’t remember the last time I read a book with such a straightforward yet moderate celebration of “the olden day” morals. Disney’s older stories taught them well: Cinderella valued obedience, Snow White valued hard work, and Pinocchio learned honesty. Many of the more modern stories stress the necessity of “following our hearts,” no matter our commitments. But, what are we teaching our children, if their hearts yearn to cross certain boundaries? Boundaries of chastity, of obedience, of respect—to both our God and to our parents and elders?

    But Ghost Waves isn’t a Sunday school lesson outlining the ways to achieve a pious heaven. It is truly an adventure, with an antagonist I absolutely adore. Vanessa Scrimshaw has to be one of my favorite antagonists I’ve read about in a long time. She is horribly cruel but you cannot help but be intrigued by her—her ruthless dedication to always be Captain and her entertaining dialogue adds the perfect zing to a book I would simply call fun.

    This is a story of Mormon Pioneers sailing on the Brooklyn around South America all the way to California on the Prophet Brigham Young’s orders. But the tale is contrasted with an entertaining threat of ruthless Pirates with equally fascinating personalities. This is a book I am excited to read with my son in a couple of years (he just turned five). He’s already fascinated by the vivid artwork on the front cover. He told me he loves “those guys floating on the cover,” the ship and “the water—my most favorite color.” Little does he know that those are the Ghost Waves. I can’t wait to curl up with him and read it out loud together. It is such a fun book.

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