I RATE THIS NOVEL THREE OF FIVE STARS!
Treasure Planet, by Kiki Thorpe has been a lovely hit of nostalgia. I haven’t seen Disney’s Treasure Planet in many years and instead of watching the movie again, I decided to read the book, so this review is in no way a recollection or a comparison between the book and the movie.
Swashbuckling pirates in a technological era had not really been done much at this point and I think Disney did it well. Kiki also managed to capture the movie well in novel form.
From the start to the finish, Treasure Planet held it’s own. Jim Hawkins, a brilliant delinquent who did badly at school after the loss of his father, had his life ruined when pirates torched his mother’s inn looking for a golden orb that managed to find its way into his possession.
It’s a classic coming of age story about a boy who took his frustrations out on the world, is given purpose by a ship’s cook on a journey to find treasure.
In the starfaring era of this world, there are hundreds of types of aliens, cultures, and even more planets. Not many are touched on, of course, but it is still a nice thought to have so much life within the same world you’re reading about.
Fighting against his own thoughts, space anomalies, pirates, and selfishness, Jim Hawkins tries his best to be his best self. He works hard, learns new skills, and shows off his incredible solar sailing abilities. The crew members aside from Silver, the ship’s cook, don’t take warmly to him though, and Jim has to stay on his toes around these dangerous aliens.
Silver, and his alien shapeshifter, Morph, look after Jim and keep him busy with all kinds of tasks and they unexpextedly begin to bond. Almost like father and son. Given that Jim never really had a father around, Silver is just what he thought he needed in his life. We’re given more insight into the story that Jim is, and we can make assumptions as to how it’ll end up, and it all seems as though it looks grim, but… And I won’t spoil that for you there.
Jim goes on a grand adventure with many people. Dr Doppler, a dog-like alien who funded the adventure. He’s an alien who had been close friends with Jim’s mother. Silver, the ship’s cyborg cook with a dark past and a shape shifting alien. Amelia, a feline-like alien and the ship’s captain, a hardass who cares deeply for her first officer, Arrow. Arrow, a stone-skinned alien who is loyal to a fault. B.E.N, an intelligent astronomy robot that was originally part of Captain Flint’s crew. And a bunch of other characters who bring this story to life.
Jim has grown up being told stories of Treasure Planet, a place where the most notorious pirate hid all of his vast wealth, a place that pirates, explorers, and scientists have been looking for ever since the death of captain Flint all those years ago. Jim’s dream has been to fly a grand solar vessel and travel the galaxy, just as he’s doing now, and just as his father did before him.
The singular goal of the majority of the characters in this novel are to find Captain Flint’s treasure. Jim wants it to make a name for himself, make his mother proud, and give them a chance to start again. Silver wants it due to greed and as a way to make the losing of his limbs worth it. Dr Doppler desires not the treasure, but the recognition that comes with finding it. And the other characters don’t have their goals so clearly laid out.
The story of Treasure Planet is one built on friendship, trust, betrayal, family, and adventure. And I believe that the original writer would be trying to tell us that friendship and loyalty can break us out of our vicious and greedy natures, so long as we’re ready to change.
The book is fine for younger people, as there aren’t too many complicated characters, plots, or words throughout the novel, and can easily be read in a day or two. If you want a quick and easy read with a nice plot, don’t look over the book.
Aside from the few redundancies it was a pretty enjoyable story with a mostly content ending.