In the fantasy world of The Logbooks of Admiral Jake, disparate realms meet in a classic case of good versus evil on the high seas and beyond.
Jon Nappa’s rough-and-tumble adventure novel The Logbooks of Admiral Jake includes pirates, magic and supernatural beings, and precarious predicaments in its tale about the power of stories to guide destinies, shape worlds, and illuminate the mysteries of the universe.
Opening with an unnamed storyteller who recounts the story of the legendary Admiral Jake and his mysterious logbook, which seems to capture the past as it occurs, the novel moves back in time to recount a pirate raid that decimated a village and brought a group of strangers together on a common quest.
That group includes Seventeen-year-old Matey and her younger brother Buck, who are determined to save their parents, who have been captured by the marauding pirates. They meet Gunther, a red-headed giant of a man, who takes them under his wing and leads them on their journey as he seeks to avenge the death of his wife, who also fell victim to the gang. Their mutual target is Ash, the pirate leader who struggles with supernatural darkness and is obsessed with destroying Admiral Jake, who is always one step ahead of the pirate’s master plan to control every ocean. Matey and Buck are soon joined by Leef—a young flyer who is part human and part bird—who works to learn the aerial skills necessary to be recognized as an adult by his family.
A nighttime encounter with the storyteller reveals to Matey the power of the admiral’s logbook, which connects not only past and present, but two worlds and two realities that run parallel to each other. She comes to realize that her adventures are being written in the logbook as she lives them, as though by an author observing from another realm. More palimpsest than poltergeist, the logbook promises insights and riddles in abundance as her life continues to reveal itself in its pages.
The first in a series of Logbook novels, most of this book is set in a single realm and reality. There, sentient trees talk, various supernatural creatures roam, and there are an abundance of magical items, both good and evil. Black-and-grey illustrations are included, providing clear representations of the dramatic encounters; these also help to flesh out the book’s world building.
The story involves betrayals and the confrontation of an assortment of supernatural creatures and powers. Characters within all of the multiple story lines are developed with depth, giving meaning to their various relationships. Crisp conversations make up a significant portion of the novel, and are used to balance the exposition that’s devoted to the characters’ back stories.
In the final chapters, the characters and conflicts are transported to an otherworldly court, where the storyteller’s word is the ultimate authority. It’s an immersive conclusion to an exciting book in which new realities are created, shifted, and realigned.
In the fantasy world of the novel The Logbooks of Admiral Jake, disparate realms meet in a classic case of good versus evil on the high seas and beyond.
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