Pirates of Pangaea; Book #1 – Daniel Hartwell & Neill Cameron

As Sophie embarks on a trip across the world she doesn’t know what awaits her. With both her parents dead she must go and live with her uncle, the Governor of the British colony on the island of Pangaea, a forgotten land recently discovered which is teaming with dinosaurs and pirates. The journey there is unadventurous but as soon as the hit the land, things change drastically. Sophie and the crew she made the journey with have barely hit the Sea of Green when they are ambushed by pirates. Sophie is taken prisoner as the others are left for dead and she must work out what to do on her own. With the help of cabin boy Kelsey she must tame a wild beast and escape from the danger she has found herself in. 

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My love for comics and graphic novels is growing steadily with everyone I pick up. Usually this is because I am careful and chose ones that I know I am going to enjoy… however when Pirates of Pangaea, book 1, arrived on my doorstep I hadn’t heard of it and I wasn’t sure. The art style didn’t seem to match what I usually go for and I thought it looked a little too kidish for me.

The reason I took the plunge and read it anyway was because it had dinosaurs all over it. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, or even if you have eyes, you will know that I love my dinosaurs and I will pretty much read anything about dinosaurs. Pirates of Pangaea sounded exceptionally promising with stories of a girl riding on the back of a t-rex in a land forgotten by the rest of the world.

I dipped right in and ended up reading in one setting. It turns out that was the best thing to do because of all the ‘The Phoenix Presents’ comics Ive read so far this had to be my favourite. Set in the past it ticked off a few things that I love reading; historical fiction, strong female characters and dinosaurs. It also featured some epic adventures and some binds that I honestly couldn’t see Sophie and her new friend, Kelsey, getting out of.

The art style took some getting used to for me and whilst it didn’t win me over entirely I think that kind of thing is so much down to personal preference that I honestly can’t criticise it. Everything was clearly drawn and the pictures helped the story just as much as they do in other comics, it just felt a little too clean for me – I prefer gritty. This is probably because of the age range of the comic more than anything else though because it felt like a more grown up picture book. I also thought that Sophie was drawn a little too old looking and it wasn’t until she said, quite close to the end of the book, that she was 12 that I realised she was actually a child. At first I thought she was about 17/18 and that through me off the story a little bit. Some of that could have been to do with the time period of the book too though and the fact she was obviously a girl of a higher class. However saying that I LOVED the chapter pages with the maps and the pages explaining the different types of dinosaurs – the art there was definitely more my kind of thing.

Fighting pirates and coming across ancient tribes from the island was exceptionally exciting and I loved the story told throughout the comics in this first volume of Pirates of Pangaea. Sophie is an brilliant character because she is so strong and I love the idea of her taming such a wild beast. I wished I was her in many of the situations she encounters (maybe not the ones where she nearly dies) and I am seriously looking forward to more from this series.

Pirates of Pangaea was released on February 5th by David Fickling Books as part of the ‘The Phoenix Presents…’ series. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
To buy the book or for more info please visit:
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Neill Cameron website