There are places even the sea cannot go…In coastal Denmark, a young man named Nereus builds a longship and leaves at age eighteen to discover a new, enigmatic land. Faced with unimaginable obstacles, he crosses the North Atlantic, only to be captured by the Skraelings, the Inuit indigenous people who seek revenge on all settlers because of a "Great Red Man" who murdered maThere are places even the sea cannot go…In coastal Denmark, a young man named Nereus builds a longship and leaves at age eighteen to discover a new, enigmatic land. Faced with unimaginable obstacles, he crosses the North Atlantic, only to be captured by the Skraelings, the Inuit indigenous people who seek revenge on all settlers because of a "Great Red Man" who murdered many of their family members. Many years later, Nereus is hired by a group of Irish settlers who are fleeing the tyranny of King Henry VIII, and he takes them across the North Atlantic to the Newfound Land. A fierce battle ensues against the sea, the Little Ice Age, and the vicious Skraelings. When Nereus falls in love with Laura Hodges, fiancée to the group’s leader, William Brockelby, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous love triangle…until the formidable mystery surrounding Captain Nereus H. Shelby is finally revealed....
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captain shelby Reviews
Captain Shelby is the follow up novel to Pelican Bay and centers around Nereus (Captain Shelby). Although, instead of the story being continued from the last novel, the reader instead goes backward in time to see some of Captain Shelby's adventures from the past. I like how Christiansen wove details in history through his story. For example, adding in Eric the Red as a side character. I also enjoyed the time shift between certain chapters that allowed you to read two different time lines within the story until they eventually connected. As always, I found Christiansen's writing to be near-poetic with haunting images. Two of my favorite passages:"When it comes to love, we are all children-we are all blind, eager children. Yet we can spend our lives studying love and still know nothing of it, and so one can never judge another when it comes to one's actions of love.""Soon, all the men's torches were burning, their flames dancing in the fisherman's eyes like a vandalized Starry Night."Looking forward to the author's next release. =)
The basic premise of the description of this novel was interesting, but sadly the novel fails to really deliver. You’ve got several story threads running through in a confused tangle that is made yet more bizarre by the writer’s style. I could enumerate quite a few problems with the plot, the writing and so on, but I’m going to focus on a few points that I felt were the most problematic to me.Cannibalism is one of those things that authors like putting in to provide a thrill of horror to their story and to highlight the ‘otherness’ of the particular people. It’s a taboo practice that a certain type of person is morbidly drawn to and, if that person is a writer, then it’s going to wander into the story to create that little extra shock to the reader… Raise the steaks (pun intended) that little bit more…Except that there’s a big problem with this.Firstly, the notion of cannibalism as something that all ‘primitive’ cultures did is rather erroneous – a large part of this notion is from the 19th Century concepts of primitivism and savages that equated the non-civilised with cannibalism and any taboo practices that they could think of. This is not to say that there weren’t cannibals. There is reliable documentation of the Maori practices, for instance.Secondly, however, even checking something as unreliable as Wiki (which is often better referenced than you’d expect!), will tell you that there isn’t a case to argue cannibalism in the context of the Inuit (which the Skraelings seem to be equated with). There is nothing to indicate a cultural practice of cannibalism at all.If anything, the whole notion of cannibalism is something that gets thrown into the equation just a little bit quickly and cavalierly all too often and any writer should at the very least look up in Wiki (if they aren’t going to make more effort to research than that!) whether or not the cultural group they want to write about can even remotely be expected to have behaved in a particular way. Accuracy makes a story far more interesting and believable. If the particular group weren’t cannibals, don’t make them be, change your setting, invent a new group (and make it clear that they’re fiction!), or forget the cheap thrills of cannibalism.Furthermore, I’m surprised that a Canadian-based publisher was willing to publish what is tantamount to an accusation of cannibalism about one of their native cultural groups – something that is rather controversial and definitely less than P.C. (I’m not much for P.C. generally – it often gets stupid and over-the-top, but in this case, I’ll bloody argue that P.C. should have at least happened!), especially in a country that has always been proud to respect the First Nations and Inuit cultures and peoples.This brings me to my next key problem with the book - geography! Where exactly are we supposed to be?Ireland - Ok, no problem… (although we seem to be in the 19th century there in a lot ways…)Denmark – yup, fine…Greenland – uh? And especially, Newfoundland??What’s the problem? It’s not consistent. There are Inuit groups in Newfoundland, yes, or rather, there are Inuit groups in Newfoundland and Labrador (namely, Newfoundland is the large island, not the bit connected to the mainland, and there aren’t Inuit on the island…), so this isn’t exactly quite logical. “New Found Land” seems to be a reference to the actual area now known as such, but what is described is more southern in terms of fauna and flora (the butternut tree doesn’t exist as far North as Newfoundland at all – and it is not at all indigenous in any way to Greenland, where the author places it… In fact, the butternut seems to be the only tree type that the author frequently includes at all). Furthermore, the cultural group is wrong – the Inuit type that is described would not apply; that is a more northern cultural group than where the story seems to be. It doesn’t quite fit…The butternut tree is actually the crux of this problem – if there are butternuts, there can’t be Inuit… if there are Inuit, there can’t be butternuts… The author’s geography is completely off here and this destroys the believability of the book yet a bit more…Let’s go to the next point – spoken language. Somehow, in the Tudor era, with Henry VIII on the throne, so in between 1509 to 1547, the characters are speaking Middle English (that’s what the author claims anyway), a form of English considered to have ended its usage around 1470 roughly. Add to this detail that the problems in Ireland under Henry would have been post the 1520s to 1530s, so a whole 50 to 60 years since the shift from Middle English into Early Modern English. Now add to this that the author is obviously uncertain about how to even write Middle English as the language being spoken is more a case of pseudo-Middle English than actual and bears a certain confused blend of ideas from Early Modern English as well. For instance, the author applies the ‘-th’ ending to verbs in the plural form inconsistently and bizarrely. He combines endings in the verbs in such a way as to create confusion and redundancies… Whilst Middle or Early Modern English are not my areas of linguistic expertise, some errors were jarringly visible and the overall usage was inconsistent, weak and confusing. The author would have done better to leave be the foray into a language he isn’t confident in and let the dialogue be more readable to their audience!Add to the confused English, the smattering of pseudo-Danish words and the average reader with a more generalised language knowledge will find themselves at a loss to figure out the conversations and what exactly is going on…Next… Potatoes… Which were introduced by the Spanish to Europe in the SECOND HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY. Again, we’re fifty years off MINIMUM! Add to this that the Europeans were sceptical about the poor little spud and there is NO WAY that the potato should even be getting a mention in this story, let alone be so involved!The Great Irish Famine happened in the 19th Century, not the 16th Century! There is no way that the whole blighted crops, famine, potato aspect of the plot can even work…Might I add that most of the Irish section of the story looks like a weird cross between the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries? What the hell is so difficult about researching even the most basic of facts in the most simple of ways – hell, look at WIKI, make an effort!! This is an insult to the reader – the author is making an assumption that the reader is ill-educated, lacking in any curiosity (to check facts!) or knowledge and gullible in the extreme. I get suspension of disbelief – I read Terry Pratchett! – but this is insulting!Finally, where’s the story even going? If, after all this under-researched (or rather unresearched) drivel, you want to hear about the plot… That’s non-existent too! The point of the plot dies completely once you realise that there’s no way that any of the ‘crucial plot points’ could even occur at the same time. Throughout the novel, there’s no clear goal as such, there’s no clear trajectory for the story, nothing. There’s vaguely a love triangle that is not very well developed – partially because the characters aren’t consistent to themselves. William, for instance, transforms almost completely throughout the novel to create an utterly different person by the end – and that, not in a consistent or logical psychological way.The point of where the story is going is lost. Apparently we’re escaping tyranny and famine – in a time where this doesn’t make sense. Apparently we’re being hunted by a cannibalistic tribe (that can’t be) in a place where they don’t live…Let’s throw in a witch hunt because of jealousy and mystical phenomena… And so on…There’s no clear plot – all there is a bunch of disconnected narratives describing a selection of anachronisms without a clear purpose.As a whole, this novel is definitely a ‘don’t bother’ – in fact, the main reason I read it fully is because of sheer curiosity as to what the hell next was going to happen, otherwise, it was because this novel was sent to me for reviewing and I figured I’d review it on the basis of its entirety. I’d potentially pick up the book on the shelf if I saw it in a book store or library, but I’d end up putting it back after the first few pages. It’s not worth it and I’m amazed that it was published all things considered… In fact, I’m not even sure what the target audience is supposed to be – the book is aimed at such a low level of intelligence and information that you’re hitting the category of people who don’t usually have much interest in reading… It’s certainly not aimed at anybody with an interest in their environment and an average knowledge of the world, and definitely not at anybody with academic background!Last comment – please, please, please RESEARCH next time! At the very least, WIKI things before writing nonsense!(If anybody wants more academic references on my comments, you can contact me – the list would probably work out longer than the review itself!)
As a caution up front the story has much of the dialogue written in Early Modern English, which was spoken at the time the story took place and bits in Old Norse due to Captain Shelby's heritage. This may cause some to find the story less enjoyable, but personally it lent the story a more realistic feel to me and pulled me farther into the setting and timeline.This story takes us to the life known by a a much younger version of Captain Shelby, long before he donned his hat and took to the sea. The story of a boy, turned man, Nereus Shelby. A young boy who can both speak to and hear the sea, much to the chagrin of his parents as he ages, but she was his first true love. Playing the role of a mother, a provider, and at times the love of his life, the sea is almost as much of a main character as Nereus, Laura and William are in this book. Some readers dubbed Pelican Bay a love letter to the sea, when in reality this story is not only a love letter to the sea, in all her forms from peaceful and serene to cold and even possibly jealous, but a coming of age story, a story of fulfilling your dreams beyond your fears, a story of finding your true love and risking all for him/her. There is so much wrapped up in this hard to put down novel it would take hours to describe the delicately interwoven storylines that comprise Captain Shelby. If I had to describe it in a single sentence I would say it's "A truly swashbuckling tale of adventure, love, loss and risking it all to pursue your dreams and love in the places that lie beyond your doubts and fears."Nereus leaves home at a young age, taking to the sea to sail to the Newfound Land, a place no one has seen before, or if they have thy haven't lived to tell the tale. Summoned to help a small group escape the tyranny of a King who over taxes them and a Lord who's despicable as the nicest term I can think of, he meets his soul mate, Laura who just happens to be recently engaged to the man leading the escape, William. Time and trials will test this small group and shake their beliefs to the core. Can they accept his help and accept Nereus for what he is, or will they ostracize him as an outsider, or worse .. a witch? Can a young woman love someone that she can't understand, even though she's engaged to another? It's all in Captain Shelby. The story seamlessly weaves a tale changing from past, to present to future without confusion, allowing you to learn about each of the main characters to be enthralled without becoming lost or learning too much at once.In the previous installment of The Captain Shelby Trilogy, Pelican Bay, I felt the poetic and lyrical voice of the author, Jesse Giles Christiansen, pulled his readers away and caused them to lose focus from the story. However, in this story I feel Jesse has truly found the elegant balance between action and adventure, story telling and poetry that allows you to see the poet in his heart and the author in his soul. A perfect blend of fact, fiction and tales of yore, I highly recommend this story. I am anxiously awaiting the third and final book of The Captain Shelby trilogy.
“Laura laughed and the soft echoes of her laughter were immediately stolen by the Atlantic breeze and swept away to sea.”Once again Captain Shelby comes to life, but this time more human, more real almost as if he had decided to step out of the confines of words and phrases. His dialogues mingle with the sea and for a change he feels. He feels the fragrant breeze tugging at his heartstrings, from which emerges a gentle drizzle of prose leaving the reader gripped in the intensity of myth and history. The beauty of Laura is unmistakable as the writer insists that there was an incredible glow about her as though she ‘had swallowed the moon.” When the enigmatic fisherman holds her hand “as if it were the last fragile heirloom on earth”, the realization dawns on us that we are seeing a very different side of Shelby- a part of his personality that lingered between the lines in Pelican Bay, but never actually came to the forefront.As we time travel back into the folds of history hearing soldiers that ‘sniggered in chorus with the horse’ or feeling the ‘swing of enemy’s sword’, we know that Captain Shelby is a well researched work and that the author’s strength lies in the fact that he very convincingly recreates a bygone era. Be it the skirmish towards the end or minute details of the sea, the author handles everything adeptly. Every detail of custom, costume and dialogue just enhances the effect the author chooses to create- an effect of timelessness and beauty. The remarkable use of language, striking metaphors, well-structured plot make this book a gripping narrative.As Shelby’s ‘smile covered Greenland on both sides’, I could almost feel his tear touch a space in my heart and mind. Even though the writer insists that, there are some places that even the sea cannot go, I would like to say he has not only gone to the sea, but brought it to you and me. And in Shelby’s eyes that resemble ‘dazzling sapphires borrowed from the sky’, turn the pages of a superbly crafted story.
Dollycas’s ThoughtsEthan Hodges shares Captain Nereus H. Shelby’s stories. He states his “accounts come from both dreams about him and from reality.” The prologue ends with “remember that with the greatest moments throughout history reality has often mirrored dreams. And also remember that all dreams ultimately come from reality.”I absolutely love the way Jesse Giles Christiansen writes. After reading Pelican Bay I realized how easy it was to just let go and follow the story where it led. He has topped himself with this story. He immerses the reader right into Shelby’s story. He takes us on a mystical journey back in time, to the mysteries of the sea and the mysteries of Captain Shelby. Christiansen’s words paint incredible pictures in my mind.Once I started the story I couldn’t but it down. I was in awe of the way he makes these characters so real and made me see what people will endure to be free of tyranny and believe that love really has no boundaries. The dialogue, the old language of the Irish immigrants, is captivating and addicting. I found myself mesmerized by its rhythm.Captain Shelby is a story full of adventure, mystery, intrigue and love. Christiansen states he was inspired by Hemingway. The inspiration has given birth because this narrative is masterful. Hemingway would be very pleased with this author’s work. This is an author to keep our eyes on.
4 STARS Captain Shelby story draws you into the story very easily. It also weaves back and forth into history of one character than another as they merge together. It is dramatic, action and romance as they seek to make a better future for themselves. Nereus is from Denmark and builds a longship and leaves at 18 to sail across the North Atlantic. Skraelings are the Inuit indigenous people where they land in the New world. They are not happy to see the white people in the boats. William Brockelby is from Ireland and their group wants to flee King Henry VIII. His fiancée is Laura Laura Hodges wants to be free. She is strong, brave and ready to fight to protect her loved ones. William hires Nereus to take his group to Newfound land. Nereus can't stop thinking about Laura. They face a lot of trials to get to Newfound Land and then when they get there face even more troubles to survive. it gives you the idea of how hard it was to survive in this new land. You want to know more about the characters and the choices they each make. I like the images that Jesse paints with his word. This is a clean read that is aimed at anyone who enjoys a drama with a touch of paranormal in it. I want to read the last book in this series too. I was given this ebook to read for the purpose of giving a honest review of it and being part of it's blog tour.
A great historical mystery. Nereus is hired to help a group of irish settlers across the ocean. During the trip many battles are fought. Then He falls in love with Laura. The problem is that she is already engaged. Danger is every where and the secret of the captain is comes out.It was a very interesting story. Like a mythology/mystery story. I liked it. I am planing on reading more from this author.
This is a great historical novel filled with suspense and murder! You will want to keep reading through the night. Jesse has brought the characters to life and they are strong and vibrant. The Plot is intriguing and captivating.
This is a great book. I really enjoyed the unique characters and the story grabbed me right from the start. It is the perfect mix between mystery and historical fiction.