Paladin’s War (Book #3) by Peter Greene

Paladin’s War
(Book #3)
Peter Greene

“1802. Midshipman Jonathan Moore, Marine Private Sean Flagon and adventurer Delain Dowdeswell enjoy the company of family and friends during a delicate peace between France and England. However, mysterious spy networks now freely roam Europe’s great cities, and the ships and armies of all nations remain on the edge of war. An elaborate scheme involves manipulating Jonathan, now aboard the eighteen-gun HMS Paladin, the Royal Navy’s fastest ship. Commanded by his friend and mentor, Lieutenant Thomas Harrison, their mission is to deliver an important treaty to a clandestine location. Remaining in London and bored with endless tea parties and tedious school lessons, Delain encounters a shadowy black rider sneaking about the mansions of London’s elite. Suspecting foul play, she investigates and enters a web of secret meetings, spies, coded messages and kidnapping. At first merely interesting, Delain’s investigation soon turns deadly as she finds that all clues lead to the Paladin’s mission and to her friends, now thousands of miles away and in grave danger. Once at sea, the boys are pursued by their sister ship HMS Echo, though she avoids all direct contact. A sabotaged gun, a mistrusted crew, and a vicious assault on their ship by a well-armed band of assailants has the crew and officers of the Paladin anxious. Even Jonathan is uneasy, forced by agents of the king to withhold vital information from his officers. Led to waters far from home, the boys now fight for their ship and their lives against a rogue naval commodore with a war plan of his own.”
My Review:
I have loved the Jonathan Moore books from the very beginning! They are so fun. In this fantasy-heavy Harry Potter world we live in, it’s so refreshing to read something so different and so not fantasy. (And this coming from a fantasy fan!) My boys have loved these books as well. My boys are now 15 and 14, and it was my 14 year-old that actually looked on amazon to see if Mr. Greene had published the next book in the series. When he found out that there was another book he begged me to contact Mr. Greene to see if he needed reviews. Lucky for us he did. Usually I let the authors contact me, but this time we may have been a little excited. That gives you an idea of how much my boys have liked these books. All my favorite characters were back for this new adventure. Of course Jonathan and Sean were there, along with Delain and Miss Barbara Thompson. Some of the Paladin’s crew members were also familiar characters. Mr. Greene relayed to me beforehand that this book is a little darker than the other two, and he was correct. He said the idea is that the first and second books are more for middle graders, and this book is better for early YA. I’m not sure why he did it that way because now the younger readers get all excited about the first books, but should not read the last book until they’re older. However, that’s the way he set it up. This book does have a little more profanity in it, and it’s darker in that more characters die, and the violence is a little more graphic. It’s a little deeper too. It’s not just fighting pirates; there’s a more hidden and harder to decipher plot line. My boys and I all enjoyed it, but didn’t think the darker format was needed. We all agreed that we were glad we read it, but it wasn’t our favorite book in the series. There’s plenty of Jonathan Moore action, suspense, adventure, and ingenuity. I liked Delain’s role, and although the role Jonathan was asked to play made me squirm a bit, he did figure it out eventually. The book is well written, but there are still a few grammatical errors. If you enjoyed the first two books you will definitely want to read this one!
*As a side note, when I read the first book it was titled Skull Eye Island, but that title has now been changed to Warship Poseidon
Rating: PG + (There are a few profane words, a brief kiss, and quite a bit of violence. The violence is a bit more graphic and descriptive than it is in the first two books; a few characters die.
Recommendation: 6th to 7th grade and up. (If your middle grader has read the whole Harry Potter series–and been ok with it–, then he or she would do okay with this book. It is about the same level as the last couple of Harry Potter books.)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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