Review: Under the Black Ensign ~ L. Ron Hubbard

Under the Black ensignLong before Captain Jack Sparrow raised hell with the Pirates of the Caribbean, Tom Bristol sailed to hell and back Under the Black Ensign.That’s where the real adventure begins.

Bristol’s had plenty of bad luck in his life. Press-ganged into serving aboard a British vessel, he’s felt the cruel captain’s lash on his back. Then, freed from his servitude by pirates, his good fortune immediately takes a bad turn . . . as the pirates accuse him of murder—and leave him to die on a deserted island. Now all he has left are a few drops of water, a gun, and just enough bullets to put himself out of his misery.
But Bristol’s luck is about to change. Finding himself in the unexpected company of a fiery woman and a crafty crew, he unsheathes his sword, raises a pirate flag of his own, and sets off to make love and war on the open seas.

4 Thumbs-UpThis is one of a number of books that appear in the Golden Age series.  For those of you who may be worried that the book may contain references to scientology or dianetics, for which this Author appears to be well-known, you need not worry.  At no point in my reading of this did I find any references to either of these.

If you are a reader that is looking for a no frills, straight to the action kind of book, this one will be right up your alley.  Like most books written in this era and classified as pulp fiction, there is no thought at all given to any character development, and when every page is packed with action and adventure, why waste time with all the frills and fancy that developing a back story brings with it.  As with most of this Authors Golden Age books, the characters portrayed within its pages are not the usual stereotypical fodder one would except from this kind of book; instead they are more archetypical which makes the book more palatable for the reader.

At only 121 pages, this little novella is full of pirates, adventure, mishap, exploits and did I mention pirates?  Every kind of piratical adventure imaginable is packed into these pages, and the reader can find themselves turning the last page before they realise it.  It’s a high-octane and great uncomplicated read for all ages, especially children who are caught up in the pirate craze, and adults looking for some good old-fashioned escapism.  I also feel this book would be suitable as bedtime reading to your children and grandchildren, and would definitely read it to mine.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will definitely be hunting down some more of the Golden Age books for those nasty winter afternoons that lay ahead.  I highly recommend you do the same.