Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Rick Brant #14 Pirates of Shan and #15 Blue Ghost Mystery

In Rick Brant #14, The Pirates of Shan, Howard Shannon and Tony Briotti have disappeared while on an expedition in the Sulu Sea.  Rick, Scotty, and Zircon travel to the Philippines to see if they can find the missing scientists.  They soon learn that the Pirates of Shan are likely responsible for abducting the scientists and that the pirates are formidable opponents!

This book reads like a companion novel to The Golden Skull since the setting is once again the Philippines along with the surrounding area and includes some of the same characters from that book.

I thought that Chahda's English pronunciation took a nosedive in this book.  Why make him seem more stupid?  Speaking of Chahda, this was the last book to feature him.  Some people have theorized that perhaps the changing times caused Chahda to be dropped from the series because of the racial stereotyping.

This is possible, since The Pirates of Shan was published in 1958.  The last Nancy Drew book to have obvious racial stereotyping was The Haunted Showboat, which was copyrighted 1957. 

This book has no science and is purely adventure.

In one scene, Rick carefully avoids killing a pirate and finds a way to knock him out.  In another scene, Rick and Scotty shoot pirates with a rifle and arrows.  While the reader does not know for sure, it is implied that some pirates die.  It's a bit strange for Rick to go to great lengths to avoid killing a pirate and then go on an apparent killing spree later in the book.

As always, the beginning of the book has much expository information, although it did not drag as much for me as in some other books.  It is at about page 63 that the main action truly begins, and the book is quite fast-paced from that point on.

This book is quite good.

In Rick Brant #15, The Blue Ghost Mystery, Barby and Jan beg the boys to come investigate the ghost that appears near the Millers' property in Virginia.  The ghost of a Union soldier appears nightly near the old mine.  Rick and Scotty believe that the ghost is a hoax and set out to prove it.

This is another of those stories where a ghost is used to frighten people.  I find it hard to believe that everyone would have been frightened away from a campsite because of a ghost sighting.  Nowadays, everyone would flock to the campsite with their cell phones waiting to take pictures of the ghost so that they could post the pictures on Facebook.

While I enjoyed this book, I did not find this story to be very compelling.  It was enjoyable, but in some places I felt like the story dragged. 

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