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The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the…

The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship

by Philip Pullman

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672254,011 (3.42)4



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A young girl named Serena goes overboard when her family vacation hits a terrible sea storm; she is rescued by the Mary Alice a mysterious ship with crew members from all over the world -- and all over the time-stream. Meanwhile, back in the present day, Danielle and Roger are separately trying to track the sightings of a so-called "ghost ship" (the Mary Alice) and its youngest crew member, John Blake. But sinister forces are bent on stealing their research and stopping them from ever contacting the ship and its crew.

When I heard that Philip Pullman (an author I loved as a child) had written his first-ever graphic novel (a medium I love), I immediately had to check it out. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed. The book's plot was convoluted, the science behind the science fiction was poorly explained, and the characters were rather lackluster. Other than Danielle and a couple of crew members with minor roles, there is a serious lack of diversity in this book despite its large number of characters. And, while Serena and John are young, the rest of the characters are adults. This, along with the occasional language (damn, darn, bloody, etc.) and the conspiracy issues that cross various government and corporate avenues, makes me wonder if this book is even best suited for its target audience of children.

This particular book makes use of most standard comic panels, with nothing too exciting jumping out there. However, the illustrations of people and places are done in a quite well-executed realistic style. And, the illustrations of sea scenes are quite lovely to look at, truly works of art.

It seems like this book is intended to be the first in a series, but I have no interest in continuing on with any future books about John Blake.
  sweetiegherkin | May 10, 2018 |
~ paid 99cents, review copy

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN BLAKE is a lot of fun. This graphic novel harkens back to the good old-fashioned adventure stories of yesteryear. There are mysteries to solve, and scifi elements. Protagonists that are smart and know their stuff, but who are at the whims of fate for the moment. And, of course, there are bad guys.

The artwork by Fred Fordham is wonderful. Just perfect for this story which features clearly good and clearly bad guys. The features of the characters and the scenes manage to convey gravitas at the right points.

The text, by the way, is in a good, easy-to-read font. I had no difficulty reading it with my 2x glasses.

I can't wait for the next book in the series. My only concern going forward is that the plot seems very simple and as an adult I'm not sure what the author is going to pull out of his hat to keep it interesting in the future.
  PamFamilyLibrary | Jun 9, 2017 |
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John Blake and his mysterious ship are doomed to sail between centuries and when he meets a shipwrecked girl named Serena he promises to help get her back to her time, but first they must stop the sinister and powerful Dahlberg Corporation.

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