Official Review: Westcoast Bounty by Ian Kent

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djr6090
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Official Review: Westcoast Bounty by Ian Kent

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Westcoast Bounty" by Ian Kent.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The possibility of someone finding Spanish gold on Vancouver Island fired my imagination into reading Westcoast Bounty by Ian Kent. Typical treasure-hunt stories take place in the Caribbean, so this was likely to be an unusual account in the history of British Columbia.

By 1699, the Spanish were very comfortable navigating the western coast of Mexico and their territories farther north of California. Like all the imperialists of the time, the Conquistadors wanted to find the most expeditious route from the Pacific to the Atlantic. They mined gold in Peru and silver in Mexico. They then had to transport it overland through Panama to the Atlantic and reload it onto a galleon bound for Spain. Their navigators searched for the Straits of Anian, referred to today as the Northwest Passage. Any man who discovered this more direct sea route back to the Old World would reap enormous rewards for his discovery. Inevitably, one such attempt to return the New World wealth to the Spanish government resulted in a shipwreck.

The wreck was hidden for one hundred fifty years. Then, in a prequel to Westcoast Bounty, author Ian Kent has Maggie Cameron Manson, a pioneer mother of two from an impoverished village in Scotland, discover the booty in her search for her missing husband. Our story, book two in a three-part series, begins with Maggie’s great-great-grandson discovering a journal with enough references to the fortune to prompt an expedition to locate the cache.

Jack Manson is developing his family’s land on the coast when his backhoe operator uncovers an old foundation. There is an aged leather-bound notebook wedged between two of the fireplace stones. The government requires that any potentially significant archeological find must be researched in place. Consequently, while the scientists excavate the find, Jack’s project is brought to an abrupt halt. Jack’s friend, David Malcolm, a museum director, realizes that the journal is a Manson family heirloom. He provides Jack with legible photographs of the entries. Somehow, the information is leaked to a Hong Kong businessman with some very questionable associates. Jack’s adventures are sure to be riddled with risks. Will the rewards be worth it?

Although the book defies logic at times, and some characters act in ways that stretch credibility, Westcoast Bounty is an enjoyable adventure. This book describes advanced photographic techniques used to clarify the three-hundred-year-old relic and does a fair job of convincing the reader that there may actually have been a wreck of the type described. I liked that the author brought the sciences of archeology to life. Although Jack and his friends were amateurs, they had a lot of expert help. As good citizens, they paused their expensive land development with a minimum of grumbling. In return, the museum responded by throwing its weight behind the group’s search for a lost galleon. A veritable fortune in drones, hi-def cameras, aerial surveillance, zodiac watercraft, and scuba gear was required. As unlikely as this is, it did make good fiction.

The author uses several devices to bring information from the first book into his narrative. In one place, Jack’s grandfather reveals family legends from his own grandfather. In another, the native council retells a tribal memory. Bits and pieces of the previous book are woven into the research of the museum society and the readings of old nautical logs. I appreciated this, as it made it unnecessary to read the first book. What I did not like were the endless preparations, the redundant conversations summarizing previous chapters, and the slightly stilted conversations. I was uncomfortable with the locale that the writer was using. A little more description of the area would have helped readers, like me, who are not Canadian.

There are some violent scenes in the book. They are well written without being too graphic and added some action to the academia. There is a little romance in the book as Jack reunites with an old flame, which did not do much to spice up the plot. The hint of sex between Jack and his girlfriend is almost an afterthought. There is a sense that the book was professionally edited, but it needs another round. Most mistakes were simple missed words or dropped defining articles. By far the most distracting mistakes were the missing direct address commas. The errors were frequent enough to withhold one star, making my rating three out of four stars. For all the adventure story readers who love a lost treasure tale, this one is a good read. Oh, and don’t forget, there is a third in the series. Happy hunting!

******
Westcoast Bounty
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Bertha Jackson
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Post by Bertha Jackson »

It sounds like this book is full of adventure with the shipwreck and the hunt for hidden treasure. Thank you for your review.
Bertha R. Jackson :D
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Post by Blu_Poison »

Thanks for reviewing it; the material is very interesting, a mother searches for her husband out at sea and finds treasure instead. Almost seems as if the husband attempts to make amends for his absence in some poetic way. Very interesting.

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Post by SamaylaM »

Your review was very engaging and it just made this adventurous book more intriguing! Thank you for writing this beautifully detailed review!

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Post by Slater678 »

I like treasure books. Reminds me of the Treasure Island book I read when I was small. Thanks for the engaging review.

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Post by djr6090 »

Bertha Jackson wrote:
30 Sep 2020, 07:46
It sounds like this book is full of adventure with the shipwreck and the hunt for hidden treasure. Thank you for your review.
Modern day treasure hunts are getting pretty rare, but the knowledge that there are still wrecks out there keeps me interested.
Blu_Poison wrote:
30 Sep 2020, 18:06
Thanks for reviewing it; the material is very interesting, a mother searches for her husband out at sea and finds treasure instead. Almost seems as if the husband attempts to make amends for his absence in some poetic way. Very interesting.
The complete story of the mother's search is actually a separate book, a prequel in this series, Westcoast Legacy, written in 2004. But there was enough detail repeated in Westcoast Bounty to make it a big part of the plot. The author effectively used the search for history to bring in earlier events.

SamaylaM wrote:
01 Oct 2020, 01:20
Your review was very engaging and it just made this adventurous book more intriguing! Thank you for writing this beautifully detailed review!
I got a little wordy with this one, but, like the book, I got carried away.

Slater678 wrote:
01 Oct 2020, 06:19
I like treasure books. Reminds me of the Treasure Island book I read when I was small. Thanks for the engaging review.
Holly cow! That was such a memorable childhood read!

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Post by Ellylion »

Seems to be a very engaging adventurous book for the fans of the genre :) I always love to read about the treasure hunting! Sorry about the errors, hope the author fixes this issue soon. Thanks for a great review!

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djr6090
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Post by djr6090 »

Ellylion wrote:
09 Oct 2020, 07:40
Seems to be a very engaging adventurous book for the fans of the genre :) I always love to read about the treasure hunting! Sorry about the errors, hope the author fixes this issue soon. Thanks for a great review!
I'm glad you liked it, Elly. The errors aren't really that distracting. It's worth a read on these fall days.

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Post by kdstrack »

The author seems to have extensive knowledge on how to go about bringing up buried treasure. I liked the way you pique the reader's sense of adventure with the intriguing summary of the book! Great writing.

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djr6090
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Post by djr6090 »

kdstrack wrote:
25 Oct 2020, 21:35
The author seems to have extensive knowledge on how to go about bringing up buried treasure. I liked the way you pique the reader's sense of adventure with the intriguing summary of the book! Great writing.
You are very kind to say so. The rechnical parts of the book were very entertaining.

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