Scandalios’ debut novel is a high-seas adventure set during the American Revolution.
In many ways, Scandalios’ novel reads like the diet version of The Count of Monte Cristo—a tale of revenge and treasure hunting played out against a backdrop of rolling seas and clanging swords. While Scandalios’ novel may lack the grandeur and epic sweep of Dumas’ classic, his effort makes up for it with a page-turning plot and likable characters. Mathew Carrigan, the son of a legendary captain in the British Royal Navy, is a gifted young man in his own right. After his father dies under suspicious circumstances on a secret mission to recover a massive treasure, Carrigan starts to unravel the mystery surrounding his father’s death. Eventually defecting from the Royal Navy to join the cause of the Americans during the Revolutionary War, he takes control of the Sea Dragon, a one-of-a-kind ship that has a devastating secret weapon. Carrigan, renamed Quicksilver, becomes a legendary privateer who contributes directly to the American’s victory. Scandalios fills the novel to the brim with action scenes, plot twists and high tension. He often writes in the vernacular of a modern action film, which gives his battle scenes a high-speed, cinematic urgency. Readers can expect vivid images of cannonballs flying through the air and acrobatic pirates fighting with two swords at once. The book accomplishes the rare feat of seamlessly blending several fiction genres: action, mystery, suspense, romance and even comedy. Carrigan makes for a charming protagonist and readers will feel invested in his quest for revenge. However, Carrigan has an almost superhuman ability to get himself out of tough situations; readers may have difficulty believing that Carrigan is ever truly in danger after he overcomes a string of impossible circumstances.
A thrilling read that will appeal to young and old readers.