Quill & Quire Review - Ghost Voyages III

Reviewed by: John Wilson

In the first two books in Alberta author Cora Taylor's historical fantasy series Ghost Voyages, Jeremy experienced Canada's maritime history aboard the Northcote, Nonsuch, Matthew, and Bluenose. In the third, he briefly revisits the Bluenose before experiencing incidents from all three of Cook's voyages on the Endeavor and Resolution.

The modern story in Ghost Voyages III has Jeremy visiting Toronto to see his father, whom he hasn't seen since he was four, and his stepmother. He enjoys their company, and his stepmother. He enjoys their company, and his stepmother gives him Captain Cook commemorative stamps that become the portals to his time travel. However, Jeremy is nervous about a possbile custody battle between his parents, especially after he meets Mel, a strange girl stuck in the middle of her own parents' breakup.

When Jeremy travels back in time, he sees Cook in Australia, the Antarctic, off the B.C. coast, and, finally, being killed in Hawaii. He also, literally, bumps into a fellow ghostly traveller who turns out to be his own grandson.

There are a host of characters in this short, busy book. None of the historical figures are more than names and even Mel is barely developed. Jeremy is well drawn, despite his swings from being a very thoughtful, psychologically mature 11-year-old to drawing wildly irrational conclusions from little evidence. 

The history is fascinating and accurate, although the story is occasionally forced in order to get the facts out there. With its simple language and 28 short chapters that keep the tale moving along briskly, Ghost Voyages III should hold the interest of even weak readers. More advanced readers in the target group might want more depth. 

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