Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Red Blade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.
Christopher's parents are gone, no where to be found. They are presumed dead by his neighbors so he's carted off to an orphanage which he quickly escapes from and lands himself in hot water with a bunch of pirates. These pirates, Stinky and Boots, are part of a merchant's vessel ship that is harboring some weapons for their government. Stinky and Boots are coming together in order to betray their captain to prove themselves to a fearsome pirate named Captain Red Blade. As they are organizing their plans Christopher is caught listening in. He has to comply with what the pirates want and remain quiet (he acts as a mute) while he boards the ship and goes to work. But how can he possibly keep the pirate's plot all to himself especially when he grabs hold the eye of Lucy, the captain's daughter? With the help of his human guide, a mouse named Leo, Christopher embarks on a mission to save the merchants ship crew. How will he convince them he's telling the truth when he can't say a word for fear of his life and theirs?
In the first few pages we meet Leo, Christopher's human guide. I want to mention him first because this little mouse got me hooked to this story. He's clever, courageous, and gives some great advice to Christopher. He was sent to a special school where he learned how to protect and help his human companion. He mainly lets Christopher work through his struggles however, he helps him out from time to time especially when he is in a bind. I thought having Leo in this story was so clever and such a fun part of the story. He really teaches Christopher some great lessons that allows him to think about the best course of action he must take and be independent with his own mind.
Christopher was such a good, determined person. He worked hard throughout his daily chores and tried to do his best to make sure that no one got hurt. I really liked that he used his wits to fix his problems although I wouldn't have minded a sword fight or two. Lucy is a headstrong girl which is how I like my female protagonists. She's very caring towards Leo but when it came down to business she made sure that she was competent enough to help as best as she could with the situation.
Stinky and Boots were way more vicious than I expected. This book really shows you how pirates and villains can act. Christopher was in real fear of his life especially since they were so harsh and unforgiving in their threats on his life. It was lucky Christopher stumbled on to people and animals who didn't treat him this way because it would have been way harder for Christopher on his journey.
I enjoyed all the characters - foes and friends alike and that the characters used their wits to solve their problems. I would like a continuation of this story because it wrapped up with some things I want resolved or known. Like I want to see the characters grow up and see what becomes of them. Also, Christopher was going somewhere when he stumbled on to the pirates so I want to see how that all plays out. ARRGH! was a really fun read with a great story and courageous characters - especially the furry ones.
Boots put his hands on his hips and raised his chin to the sky. “This be the chance we be waiting for, matey. A way to show Red Blade what we’re made of. Perhaps even earn’n a ship of our own.”
A second cat that had been perched on top of an abandoned cask vaulted onto the pallet next to Christopher. “Meow,” the feline said and then began to purr while eating the small silver fish that had fallen from his cuff. The cat on top of the nets lowered his head and leapt down to join his friend. A fish float crashed to the cobbles.
The pirates stilled.
“Shoo,” Christopher whispered, pushing the cats away. He stripped off his fish-riddled coat and crawled to the next pallet as a third cat wandered their way. A hissing battle commenced.
The crate hiding Christopher shifted. “And what do we have here?” The man in the boots sneered.Christopher turned, but the words he wanted to speak lodged in his throat as the blade of a saber brushed the side of his face.
“I asked ye a question, boy. I expect ye to be answer’n.”
Christopher choked, but still no words came.
“Cat got yer tongue?” asked the thin giant’s friend. Stinky was shorter by a head, rounder by half, and covered in filth. Earrings dangled from both sides of his head and a long waxed mustache spun to his ears.
“Kill ‘em!” Boots ordered. “He done heard what we said.”
Christopher’s eyes widened as the round man cocked his pistol.
A group of children ran across the start of the lane. “Your work is not done! Come back here!” their mother yelled.
“Wait,” Boots said, raising his hand. “I got me an idea.” He stroked his chin. “A healthy young boy could be useful, if not worth somethin’ when we reach the Caribbean. Two bags of gold at very least.”
“He’s thin,” Stinky snorted.
“But what happens if he opens his yap?” Stinky asked, bringing the butt of his pistol down on Christopher’s head. Christopher crumbled to the ground. Stinky placed his pistol back into the scarlet sash tied around his waist.
Boots shrugged. “We’ll cut out his tongue.”
About the Author
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can’t stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.
For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at: www.Staceyrcampbell.com
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Thanks to the author and CBB Book Promotions for letting me review ARRGH! in exchange for an honest review!