Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: CAT O' NINE TAILS by Julia Golding

cat o' nine tails cover

Sadly, this is the most disappointing Cat Royal novel I've read so far.

Cat now lives with the Duke and Duchess of Avon, and spends much of her day sitting around indoors while Frank, Pedro, and their friends are out doing fun things like hunting. Cat doesn't say she's bored, but how can she not be? Then Syd's family writes asking if she and Frank can help search for him in Bristol, as he's mysteriously disappeared. Sure enough, Syd has been kidnapped by the Press Gang to work in His Majesty's Royal Navy, and the trio of Cat, Frank, and Pedro aren't too far behind him.

My main problem with this book is that Cat just doesn't act like Cat. It should have been obvious who the baddy bad guy was, but she didn't figure it out. AT ALL. Also, I know she's been chillin' in drawing rooms wearing pretty dresses for the past few months, but it seemed she was oddly unprepared for the challenges of living as a cabin boy, considering her previous adventures have set her up pretty well for exactly this type of thing. I expected her be a little more plucky about the whole situation because of that, but instead she went the I'm-just-weak-little-girl route. Come on, Cat, it's not as if you haven't climbed a rope before.

Aside from that, the book itself wasn't particularly interesting. There were no awesome new characters as there was in Den of Thieves, and I felt like the level of research compared to the other books was minimal. Something that really bothered me was that one of the American Indians Cat met was named Tecumseh. I know this is super-nitpicky, but since Tecumseh was an actual historical figure during this time period (not to mention pretty well-known), I find it strange that Golding moved him from Ohio, where he really lived, to Georgia, and changed his tribal affiliation from Shawnee to Wind Clan. Um? If it's not supposed to be the same Tecumseh, then why use that name at all? That's like having a character in a book set in Elizabethan England named William Shakespeare, but living in Bath and working as a cartographer, and not explaining, "Oh, this isn't THAT William Shakespeare." If it's just because Golding thought Tecumseh was a cool name, then that's pretty effing lazy research!

Anywhosie, this book just doesn't have the wit and sense of adventure of the last three novels, and I can't even really say it advanced the characters at all, since they didn't act like themselves. And an even more depressing thing is, this is also the last book published in the US. If I want to read the rest of the series, I'll have to order the books from the UK! Sadface.

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