Since I brought up his The Anubis Gates recently, I’m going to do a series on Tim Powers.
I admit we’re not off to the most scintillating start with this one though I think you get some sense of the novel and its differences from the movie it lent it’s name to.
Raw Feed (1988): On Stranger Tides, Tim Powers, 1987.
A formula story — hero rescues beautiful maiden in peril — but told with verve, skill and wit. Powers characters are quirky (“I am not a dog!”) and realistic. The action was good, the locale excellent and a very original pirate story. Powers had a stroke of genius in combining a classic pirate story with very technical, almost scientific vodoo. The story avoided the trap of Jack Shandy becoming a master at vodoo just a master of it. His progression in a career of piracy was well done. Liked the Davies character and his relationship with Shandy. Fantasy was clear, crisp and fast moving. Liked multi-levels of story as Shandy, ex-puppeteer, stops being a puppet himself and again becomes a master of events. Powers has a flair for action that doesn’t sacrifice humor (of a dry, ironical sort — infinitely preferable to wise-cracking heroes). I liked his use of real characters like Blackbeard (wonderfully transformed into an ambitious dark sorcerer) and especially Juan Ponce de Leon who gives our hero some handy advice.