Tosche Station Gives ‘Hunt for the Hydra’ a Go

The year’s almost over, but I wanted to squeeze in one more review of The Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra before ringing in 2014.

Nanci at Tosche Station had me smiling with her opening sentence:

It’s hard to write a review of Jason C. Fry’s The Jupiter Pirates that isn’t just me saying “It’s really fun! Go read it!” But that’s the truth. It’s really fun. You should go read it.

Nanci liked the world-building, and as with books4yourkids’ review from yesterday, she zeroed in on the fact that the siblings aren’t just competing for the captain’s chair, but cooperating as crewmates. I was glad to see her respond to that — the sibling rivalry is a big part of Jupiter Pirates, of course, but I also want readers to have moments where they can sit back and imagine being part of a well-disciplined starship crew. No self-respecting space opera would be complete without that stuff, after all.

Here’s another bit from Nanci’s review that I found very interesting:

I want to high-five Jason Fry for making the mother the captain of the ship instead of the father. I also want to high-five him for giving the children the mother’s last name instead of the father’s, and having the father keep his own last name. It’s a really interesting family structure, and I hope to learn more about Mavry’s past and how he and Diocletia became a couple.

The fact that Diocletia is the captain and not Mavry has come up in a number of conversations about Jupiter Pirates. I’m working through a potential blog post or article about that, but I haven’t written it yet because I need to think about it some more.

From reader reactions, it seems like making Diocletia the captain was a smart move — and I hope Jupiter Pirates will have appeal beyond boys (of whatever age). Nanci’s reaction made me happy, but I have to admit that making Diocletia the captain wasn’t part of any calculated effort to broaden the books’ appeal. In my mind it was always that way — she was the captain from the first moment the story began to form in my head. I’m not sure what that says about me as a writer or storyteller, or if it would make for interesting reading. Like I said, I need to think about it more.

I can promise this: We start learning more about Mavry and Diocletia’s past in Curse of the Iris, and their relationship is a very important part of the story treatment for the as-yet-untitled Book 3.

I’ll have a lot more Jupiter Pirates news in 2014. For now, there’s order information for books and ebooks over on the home page, or drop by your local bookstore. And if you’d like to preview Hunt for the Hydra, or give a friend a sneak peek, you can read, download and share the first five chapters here.

Finally, join the Crew — that’s the Jupiter Pirates email list — and within an hour you’ll get a link to download an exclusive dossier about the Shadow Comet‘s crew, prepared by Vesuvia. It’s a thank-you for signing up, and I can promise there will be more exclusives for members — not to mention sneak peeks and other good stuff.

Happy New Year!