Review: The Pirate Vortex

Rating: ★★½☆☆
There’s always something special about young adult pirate books. They seem less bogged down than adult books at times, and often revel in a fascination with pirate mythology that’s both nostalgic and timeless. The Pirate Vortex by Deborah Cannon, however, is a strangely different beast altogether. Hardly timeless, it’s rather decidedly contemporary as it follows the adventures Elizabeth, Lulu, Wang, and CJ (a rather foul-mouthed parrot) as they search for Liz and Lu’s mother, being a pirate archaeologist who suddenly disappeared.

While the heroes of the story are quite modern, the journey largely is not. Yes, time travel is involved, and never before in a pirate adventure have I seen the modern in such stark contrast with the historical. The narrative of this story, much like its heroes, is a clear product of modern materialism and technology. Scuba gear, iPhones, Swatch Watches, text messaging… Continue reading

Rootjack and Pirates, Vikings & Knights (oh my!)

I’ve never played Half Life 2, and such is the depth of my shame. Actually, I don’t even know what Half Life is – I assume it’s a game about radioactive mutants. BUT, it’s also a game that can be modded, meaning other themes can be layered atop the game engine to make for something quite different – in this cast Pirates vs. Knights vs. Vikings. It’s just become an official Steam Mod, so now at last you can logon to a game as a pirate and kick some knight butt, or kick some butt of vikings (who are, afterall, an unholy crossbreed between the two.) Continue reading