Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey

Pirates and treasure and ugly fruit and heroes and islands and ocean adventure, oh, my! Yeah, it doesn’t quite have the rhythm and swing I’d like it to have, and neither does this book. But for a pirate story aficionado, Deadweather and Sunrise might do the trick.

Deadweather and Sunrise is billed as Book 1 of the Chronicles of Egg. In the story, the aforementioned Egg lives on Deadweather Island with his abusive father and two siblings who also mistreat him. They all live together on an ugly fruit plantation until on a trip to nearby Sunrise Island, Egg’s family disappears and Egg is left in the care of the very rich Pembroke family: mother, father, and spoiled, sheltered daughter, Millicent. Egg crushes on Millicent; someone tries to kill Egg, and the adventure begins.

There’s a possible treasure to be found, and there are pirates, either to defeat or to enlist as allies. Not everything or everyone is to be taken at face value. As Egg very wisely learns, “”[N]ot everyone who lives on a pretty street is a good person, and . . . even in the rottenest places you might find someone you can trust with your life.”

I think this book might be one of those things that shouldn’t be immediately devalued or written off. The story has potential not only to “grow on” the reader with time for reflection but also to get even better in the next book(s) in the series. Egg’s supporting cast is made up of thieves and rogues and mostly unreliable people, but Egg himself is a kind of Oliver Twist character transported to a mythical South Sea island world.

Recommend to those who like pirate stories, Dickensian fantasy worlds, or poverty-stricken boy heroes.

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