Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What would you do for money? Would you travel to a foreign country thousands of miles away from home? Would you risk your life? "Dodger's Lot" tells the tale of Jack Dawkins, a 14-year old orphan willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on some "shiners". This adventure book follows Jack, better known as the Artful Dodger, after the story of Oliver Twist.

Jack's story begins as Bill Sike's ends, supposedly. Sikes, Jack's friend in the "business" of stealing, fakes his death as the entire town of Borough,London watches. When Jack meets up with Sikes, the pair stays at a suspicious boater's house for the night. Their suspicions are confirmed when the boater sells Jack and Sikes to the captain of the Opium Clipper.

Upon the Clipper, Jack learns to be at ease with the seafaring life, thanks to his new friend, Aaron. He also meets Jeremy Fynne, an aristocratic businessman, whose refined ways persuade Jack to work with him. Mr. Fynne promises Jack more money than he can imagine if he plays a small part in stealing opium sold by a merchant in India.

Turns out, the plan is a little more complicated than Mr. Fynne let on. However, Jack sticks to his goal and motto, "in for a penny."

I enjoyed the time period and setting that this book took me to. The author's descriptive words and old-fashioned writing style made me feel as if I were right alongside Jack in the poor streets of London, the rough decks of the Clipper, and the exotic town of Calcutta.

The mood was constantly suspenseful and mysterious, which kept me turning the book's pages. The plot contained tons of twists and turns, so I was never bored. However, the ending left me wanting to know more. Luckily, the last page of the book advertises the sequel to this story.

After reading this story, I learned much of the olden day British lingo. At times, Jack's crude grammar was hard to follow, but made the story feel more "real". I also found quite a few of typos and misspellings.

I would recommend this book to adventure and suspense lovers. If you liked the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean", this book is for you.

This book contains lots of violence and murder. Some of the language is also crude.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Wailuku, Hawaii United States