Curse of the Iris

352p. (The Jupiter Pirates: Bk. 2). HarperCollins. Dec. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062230232.
Gr 4–6—As space privateers operating under letters of marque from the Jovian Union, the Hashoone family makes their living stalking and seizing Earth vessels. With their last capture (Hunt for the Hydra, HarperCollins, 2014) still tied up in dirtside red tape, the clan is in desperate need of a good prize. Fourteen-year-old Tycho is on deck when the Shadow Comet crew encounters a drifting ore freighter. At first, the dead ship doesn't seem worth much, even as salvage, but then they discover that its captain was seeking the legendary Isis cache, a fabulous pirate treasure lost in space—and the logs indicate that he might have been on the right track. Although Grandpa Huff warns that the Isis hoard has spelled doom for many unlucky searchers, the Comet sets off to follow the clues left in the ghost freighter. There are other parties interested in the search—the remaining pirate heirs, the Jovian secret police, and even the Hashoone's old adversary from the Hydra affair, renegade captain Thoadbone Mox. The narrative is more thoughtful and introspective than in the first volume. Tycho and his two siblings are still competing for eventual succession to the captaincy, and often must balance individual ambition with their responsibilities to family and ship. New details about conflicts and issues from the clan's sometimes checkered past help clarify character relationships. There is also plenty of intrigue and rousing battle action. Familiarity with the first book is helpful but not essential. A good choice for middle grade science fiction fans.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
In the second space adventure, Tycho Hashoone and his family of privateers search for hidden treasure while assailed by enemy pirates and government forces. Meanwhile, Tycho is competing with siblings to see who will be the next captain of the family spaceship. These outer struggles and Tycho's inner crises of conscience provide introspection and action, propelling the story forward. Glos.

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