From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up--This is the second installment (Philomel, 2003) of Brian Jacques' series, The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, about Ben and his faithful black Labrador companion, Ned, who have been saved by an angel from evil pirates and given the ability to communicate telepathically. The story works both as a sequel to first tale and a stand alone story. Ben helps a French buccaneer captain, Raphael Thuron, expose a cheating Spanish pirate, fleeing when the pirate realizes he has lost his gold. The first book ends with the Frenchman and crew dead, and Ben and Ned alone. In this sequel, it is 1628 and the pair rescues a gypsy girl and helps a young artist. The group meets a nobleman, and volunteers to travel to the mountains to rescue his long-lost nephew from an evil group practicing the black arts. A goatherd woman living in the mountains is drawn into the rescue. Jacques narrates with help from a full cast. There are songs scattered throughout, and chapter breaks are accompanied by music. Both parts blend when the pair meet Thuron's priest brother and find the sunken pirate gold. There is just enough description given to let imagination take over. Careful listening is required at times to understand both words and accents. Jacques emphasizes relationships between characters. The wordless communication between Ben and his irreverent companion is a highlight. With the popularity of pirate movies during this past summer, this audiobook will interest middle and high school students and would be a good choice for school and public libraries.--Susan Rice, Evergreen Local Schools, Metamora, OH
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Gr. 5-9. In this sequel to Castaways of the Flying Dutchman
(2001), Ben and his black Labrador pal, Ned, continue their travels after an angel rescues them from the evil crew of the ship The Flying Dutchman.
As with the first book, this novel is divided into two nearly separate stories. The first plops the heroes into seventeenth-century Caribbean waters, teaming them with Captain Thuron, a valiant French buccaneer. This adventure comes to an abrupt end with Thuron's death, and Ben and Ned soon find themselves allied with new compatriots in an attempt to rescue a young man from the Razan, a tribe well versed in the black arts who live high in the Pyrenees. Although the heroes usually escape from tight spots through fortuitous accidents or divine intervention rather than clever plot twists, Jacques has still come up with another page-turner. Readers who enjoyed the first book will find this sequel even more exciting. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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