Please do not mislead me with pirates. The blurb on the back of Mercury talks about two girls living 150 years apart, blah blah blah, LOST GOLD. And then, on the second page, you have a group of pirates carrying a locked chest into the woods.
Do we ever see the pirates again? No, we do not.
Do we ever see that chest again? No, we do not.
Ms. Larson, you cannot get my hopes up with pirates and then not have pirates! There were no X’s marking any spots. There were no sea shanties. There were no chests overflowing with pilfered doubloons and shiny gems. There was a skeleton, so that was cool. But did it have an eyepatch or a peg leg? No and no.
And yeah, so maybe there’s a necklace that can find lost things, and ok, there are crows with human faces, and those are both pretty rad, but they are not pirates.
No pirates, Ms. Larson.
Do not think you can win me over with your magical realism and your awesome drawings and your pits full of snakes. Okay. Maybe you can win me over with the snakes. And everything else. Look, this was a really good book. The illustrations seem simple but have such detail. Look at the cover up there. I just noticed the crows. Isn’t that cool? Sure, there are some unanswered questions (like why are there pirates on the second page, and nowhere else) and extraneous details that don’t seem to fit (pirates), but it was still pretty great. Even without pirates.
…it would have been better with pirates.
Read if you like: Stories split between two time periods, Canada, cross country, lost treasure, spirits.
Avoid if you don’t like: graphic novels, books without enough pirates.
-Signing off, Kit Gette (it’s not a pirate-obsession. Really).