The Secret Journeys of Jack London, Book Two: The Sea Wolves

Overview

The world knows Jack London as a writer who lived his own real-life adventures. But there are some parts of his life that have remained hidden for many years, things even he couldn’t set down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious, bizarre, and magical—these are the Secret Journeys of Jack London.

Clinging to life after he is captured in an attack by savage pirates, Jack is unprepared for what he faces at the hands of the crew and their charismatic, murderous captain, Ghost. For ...

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The Secret Journeys of Jack London, Book Two: The Sea Wolves

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Overview

The world knows Jack London as a writer who lived his own real-life adventures. But there are some parts of his life that have remained hidden for many years, things even he couldn’t set down in writing. Terrifying, mysterious, bizarre, and magical—these are the Secret Journeys of Jack London.

Clinging to life after he is captured in an attack by savage pirates, Jack is unprepared for what he faces at the hands of the crew and their charismatic, murderous captain, Ghost. For these mariners are not mortal men but hungry beasts chasing gold and death across the North Pacific. Jack’s only hope lies with Sabine—a sad, sultry captive of Ghost’s insatiable hunger. But on these waters, nothing is as it seems, and Sabine may be hiding dangerous secrets of her own.

The second installment in the adventures of the young Jack London is a masterpiece of tension and emotion. Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, along with illustrator Greg Ruth, have crafted a tale for readers of all ages, an action-packed, romantic, and suspenseful descent into the darkest desires of men and beasts and the hell that awaits them.

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
Golden and Lebbon write with a gritty assurance that brings the fantasy elements-most notably, Jack’s multiple face-offs with the mythic Wendigo-down to earth. This first chapter kicks the door open for almost anything in book two.
Garth Nix
A masterful mix of gold, cold, supernatural creatures, and dread magic makes this a great action adventure story.
Mike Mignola
A great old-school adventure novel and the best use of the Wendigo legend I’ve ever read.
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
This raucous sequel in The Secret Journeys of Jack London series takes an intriguing premise—following young Jack London, future real-life author of Call of the Wild and White Fang—and improves upon it. Jack and fellow gold rushers are on a ship bound for home when they are attacked by pirates. Jack is abducted and held prisoner by the devilish Captain Ghost and his crew. In a nifty twist on Treasure Island (alright, that is Robert Louis Stevenson, but who is counting?), the authors eschew biography, we hope, and soon reveal that they are not just pirates but werewolf pirates, which is exactly as cool as it sounds. Jack is captivated by the beautiful Sabine, who serves as the ship's witch and fortune teller, but he is also drawn in by the charismatic Ghost, who has his own nefarious plans for Jack. In lesser hands, the werewolf twist might come across as silly, but the writers keep tensions high. Ghost is so captivating, he threatens to steal the story, particularly in philosophical debates with Jack about whether it is better to be a man or a monster. Hero and villain are evenly matched, and the rest of the cast is equally intriguing. The writing lags a little as Jack and Sabine manipulate the weather to force a final confrontation but recovers for a strong finish that gives the characters their due. Online interviews with the writers indicate more awesomeness is on the way: Next up is White Fangs, complete with vampire polar bears. Oh, yes, please. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Horrors confront eighteen-year-old Jack London when pirates seize him from the ship Umatilla in this second "The Secret Journeys of Jack London" novel. Captive Jack strives to survive aboard the pirate vessel Larsen as its crew traverses the northern Pacific Ocean in search of prey. Tyrannical Captain Ghost cruelly torments Jack and agitates his crew, foreshadowing the beastly, unnatural terrors and carnage they will inflict. When a full moon rises, Jack is jolted by the shocking realization the crew is a werewolf pack. He is bewitched by Sabine, an enigmatic psychic whom Ghost relies on to navigate toward ships to plunder. Sabine divulges information regarding herself, Ghost, and his monstrous crew. Jack learns of the rivalry between Ghost and his brother Death who is stalking Ghost. He plans to escape the bloodthirsty werewolves and rescue Sabine. The weak versus strong theme echoes throughout the text as anxiety builds within Jack, testing his confidence in his abilities and if he can trust his perceptions. This provocative novel skillfully incorporates biographical and literary aspects from London's life and works to create a plausible narrative. The ship is a character, antagonizing all aboard with its claustrophobic tendencies. Vivid imagery of fog banks and silver bullets, sensory details, and high-energy storytelling plunge readers into a convincing setting, perhaps startling many readers to glance over their shoulders in case a lupine pirate is hunting them. Illustrations effectively provide ominous glimpses of settings and characters. A map shows where Jack traveled. Read with Jack London's The Sea-Wolf (1904) to examine how its literary elements have been appropriated for this supernatural twist to a classic tale. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
Kirkus Reviews
Young Jack London continues his supernatural adventures as the authors soup up London's original The Sea Wolf to fit the current paranormal craze. In this second installment of their new series, Golden and Lebbon use the major plot points of London's 1904 adventure as a loose framework for a new story that features a teenage Jack fighting werewolves. Most of the names remain the same (but alas, they exclude Oofty-Oofty), although they switch a few--here, this ship is the Larsen and the captain is called Ghost. London and the brutal captain have philosophical arguments about the virtues of human versus animal nature. Of course, young Jack will wind up fighting the crew of werewolves and Ghost himself. Whatever one may think of the worth of the authors' concept, they produce an exciting tale that's written with considerable oomph, and Ruth's bold, charcoal drawings brilliantly capture the book's action. However, their captain doesn't linger in the mind as does London's original Wolf Larsen, and their adventure, although suspenseful, pales against London's efforts. Yet their romance passages trump London's antiquated romance subplot, with the introduction of a witch who captures young Jack's heart. Certainly the writing quality here surpasses that of most paranormal adventures today. And perhaps it might win London a new readership. An odd but well-executed idea. (Paranormal adventure. 10-16)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—This reimagining of Jack London's The Sea Wolf replaces his main character, Humphrey van Weyden, with the 18-year-old author and adventurer himself and populates the ship on which Jack is held hostage with a captain and crew of werewolf pirates. The beasts raid ships not just for booty, but also for bodies to consume beneath the light of the full moon. As pandering and cheesy as the story might sound, it's actually a remarkably inventive, well-written, and action-packed remix, with plenty of plot points, themes, and characters that parallel the original. The ship's captain, Ghost, for example, represents an amoral, survival-of-the-fittest viewpoint-just as Wolf Larsen does in Sea Wolf—and he tries throughout the story to convince Jack that his morality is a foolish human shortcoming. London's character Maud Brewster is replaced by Sabine, a beguiling seer whose magical talents Ghost uses to guide him toward ships and whose presence lends a note of mysterious romance to the otherwise brutal story. Readers with a taste for kinetic high-seas adventures are going to love this supernatural spin on London's seafaring classic.—Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061863202
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 804,706
  • Age range: 13 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of Of Saints and Shadows, The Myth Hunters, The Boys Are Back in Town, and Snowblind. He has edited the anthologies The New Dead, The Monster's Corner, and 21st Century Dead. Baltimore; or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, cowritten with Mike Mignola, launched the Eisner Award–nominated comic book series Baltimore.

Greg Ruth (Illustrator) has created countless comic books for Dark Horse and other publishers, and has worked on videos for Prince and Rob Thomas, among others. He has also illustrated many children’s books as well as graphic novels. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Tim Lebbon is the author of nearly thirty books, including the island and, with Chris Golden, the acclaimed Hidden Cities series. He is the winner of numerous British Fantasy Awards and a Bram Stoker Award. He lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife and children.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    Chilling, Fun, and Memorably Moralistic

    In a fantastic and chilling standalone second chronicle to the Secret Journey's of Jack London Golden and Lebbon create a tale of adventure that kept me riveted all the way through.
    While I have been a fan of their writing both as individuals and a team I had never read the first of their Jack London books because I had heard that it had been labelled for younger readers. I Think now that I have seriously deprived myself of some good reading and will be amending this asap.
    For those of you who don't know who Jack London is, he was a socially active writer who travelled to and is best known for his time in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush which inspired the Book and numerous adaptations of, "White Fang." (highly suggested reading)
    Golden and Lebbon have taken Jack and his extraordinary world and have made it even more so; from references to the legendary Wendigo he faced down in the first saga to the chilling situation he finds himself in this time.
    On his travels back from the Yukon, Jack and the ship he is on is attacked by a band of cut-throat pirates, the leader of whom is intrigued by Jack, the wildness and intelligence he senses in him and the fact that Jack's bravery in the face of danger and overwhelming odds stirred Jack to fight them. He is taken onto their ship and put to work.
    Onboard he meets a mysterious dusky woman from New Orleans named Sabine and learns even more about how many unexplainable things there are in the world as well as discovering the bone chilling secret of the pirates that captured him and having to figure a way to escape from the clutches of these monsters while stuck on a ship in the freezing North Pacific. (hint: look at the book title)
    One of the things that I quite enjoyed about this was instead of just being a typical action/werewolf book was the moral exchanges between Jack and the other characters and I hope that the younger readers who get the chance to appreciate this book will take some time to consider the questions raised. (I suppose some of us older readers should do the same actually.)
    The story was well put together and holds the interest. My only criticism is that it ended but I guess that is the tragedy of any good story...it has an end.
    My thanks to the authors for the fun read and also for reminding me that even if I hear something is made for a younger reader does not mean that it is not worth my time.

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