Blackbeard’s Justice is the third book in Jeremy McLean’s The Voyages of Queen Anne’s Revenge series and to put it simply, if you liked the first two, you’re definitely going to enjoy the third one.
But I don’t write simple little reviews like that.
And Blackbeard’s Justice doesn’t deserve a simple review. This is a nuanced book, especially considering that at it’s core it’s a swashbuckling adventure novel, but here we get to see the dread pirate Roberts…I mean Blackbeard, deal with the events of the previous book, where he may or may not have killed his close friend in a fit of rage. At the same time, his town has been ravaged by a different set of pirates, who just so happen to be led by Calico Jack, a guy who has some revenge need to begin with, leads some folks who have some revenge need, and just so happens to have a secret identity which plays close to Blackbeard’s own personal history, as well as that of several of his crew.
In other words, there’s a ton going on here. And McLean manages to keep the story moving forward while also juggling all these different pieces quite expertly. As the main cast of characters continues to grow, we get to see each and every one of them develop their own paths through the narrative. This isn’t a crew where everyone follows the protagonist blindly. In fact, one of Blackbeard’s biggest issues is that his crew seems to, more often than not, think he’s lost it and is in need of some psychiatric help.
Blackbeard’s Justice may be more of the same we’ve come to expect from McLean, but it also does a fantastic job of keeping the series alive. What originally began as a quest to find the answers about a mysterious ship has developed into a look behind the madness of Blackbeard and his crew and an attempt to give the reality of the pirating business a good hard look…while making sure there is still plenty of swashbuckling to go around.