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The Cannibals

Review

The Cannibals

Young Tom Tin has been wrongly accused of murder by a powerful man in London who wants both Tom and his father out of the city. In spite of his youth, Tom is wise beyond his years as he believes that fate is responsible for the troubles of his family. As is the custom of British law in the 1820s, convicts are routinely shipped from London to prison colonies in Australia. Tom is among a group of juvenile delinquents sailing in a cramped ship to "seven years in chains" across the Pacific Ocean. In an awkward but fruitful twist of events, Tom is bound for the penal colonies on a ship whose captain he is somewhat familiar with.

"A tangled fate had made my father my jailer, and now he was sailing me beyond the seas, in a ship that had been a slaver. He was the captain and I was a convict."

Tom's father is immediately caught up in a gut-wrenching decision between family and duty when his son informs him that he intends to escape from the ship before it reaches Australia.

"We want to escape," I said. Father looked surprised. His mouth, for a moment, gaped open. Then a hearty laugh came out. "Escape?" he asked. His hand motioned toward the huge sea. "To where?"

Because Tom is his son and because he thinks he can right the injustices brought against his family if they return to England, Captain Tin agrees to "look the other way" when Tom and his friend escape. They plan to meet later, if the boys survive, on an obscure island.

Survive what? Headhunters, dragons, flocks of birds, fire, pirates, bats, sailor's superstitions, pythons, traps, a cursed diamond --- and the fear of being captured by the man-eaters who inhabit the nearby islands!

THE CANNIBALS, a sequel to 2005's THE CONVICTS, is an entertaining nautical adventure that covers all the bases until the very end when Tom and the motley crew of convicts set sail for southwest waters. They are now free but not rescued by any means.

This action-packed read grabs your attention with the title and catapults readers into an exciting ride with everything needed to rouse the imagination. Iain Lawrence successfully draws readers into the world of nineteenth century juvenile convicts from London and artfully weaves their individual stories throughout the fabric of the book. From an action-filled overboard escape to a zany marooned convict, THE CANNIBALS is a definite page-turner!

Reviewed by Joy Held on November 22, 2005

The Cannibals
by Iain Lawrence

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2007
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf
  • ISBN-10: 0440419336
  • ISBN-13: 9780440419334