The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman had a lot of potential. But it never really got off the ground. Sure, it had a James Bond meets every Ghost Ship story you know. And sure, the graphic novel illustrations were nice. Fred Fordham did To Kill A Mockingbird that I enjoyed. And I would like to see his adaptation of The Great Gatsby this summer. But something about the overall package never “did it” for me.
The story has elements of science fiction and realism. Do not question how the ship can travel through time and seems to know where to be when it is needed. Do not question how they all seem to (eventually) understand each other (even the ancient Roman and wealthy Chinese gentleman) as they all eventually learn English. And never mind that you never really learn how John Blake is the grandfather of the secondary main character while he is still just a kid.
Reality comes into play as there are people who want the Ghost Ship for monetary gains. After all the main villain has already killed once for technology. Never mind the “cell phone” of the time looks like Captain James T. Kirk would have been comfortable using it. But there are people sailing around the world and people go to the embassy when looking for their daughter after she went overboard during a freak storm. Never mind we never see said girl back with her parents.
Do these and several other questions mean there is a sequel? Was there was a sequel planned? Is there one already out and I cannot locate it? Or does it mean that the open (but hopeful) ending is it?
This is a graphic novel. It reminds me of a Young James Bond story. And it has overtones of Tesla science. (Having reminded me of a story I read years ago about how Telsa figured out time travel and a more recent graphic novel of the same idea). It is not my favorite book, but not my least favorite. Adults, this might not be for you, but I think ages 10 and up will be fine. And since there are two teen main characters (a male and female) anyone could find something to enjoy.