Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling
By P. S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester
CreateSpace, 2016, ISBN 978-1523721252, $12.99
Also available as an e-book, $2.99
In a London tavern in 1705, Captain Gabriel Wallace and Lieutenant Miles Jacobs intervene when an admiral attempts to kill his wife’s paramour. Gabriel prevents this, but someone stabs the admiral and Gabriel must face an Admiralty court of inquiry. The verdict, while acknowledging both his good intentions and his loyal service to the Crown, cashiers him from the Royal Navy. But the admiral’s friends aren’t satisfied and hatch a plot to destroy Gabriel. Not only do they connive to bring about his eventual execution, but they also kidnap his younger brother and set his house aflame with him in it.
Miles and another lieutenant rescue Gabriel and his brother and, having nowhere else to turn, they head for the Majesty’s Venture, Gabriel’s former vessel. While others see the crew as hard-headed and undisciplined, Gabriel realizes just how loyal his men are when they decide to “retire” from the navy and abscond with their ship. First, though, they have to escape the harbor and the naval vessel pursuing them.
Never one for idleness, Gabriel didn’t waste his time after being relieved of his command and waiting for his trial. He uncovered interesting details about the admiral and his friends, hypocritical men who claimed allegiance to the Crown but stole from it to line their own purses. He and his crew become pirates with a purpose – to bring about the downfall of his enemies and reveal their secrets. His insistence on keeping his plans to himself, rather than sharing them with Miles, puts a strain on their friendship. Sooner or later, Miles must decide whether to stand with Gabriel or not, and Gabriel is uncertain which way Miles will go.
Like undulating waves, Amber’s Wake is a tale of non-stop action and heart-thudding thrills: storms at sea, pirates, and narrow escapes from their hunters (former friends and colleagues). The characters are well-drawn and, although the reasons behind Miles’s hesitancy and Gabriel’s reluctance to share could be stronger, they quickly snare readers into caring about what happens to them. Readers familiar with the other books in the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales series will enjoy this one, which explores Rasmus Bergman’s past, and look forward to future exploits with Gabriel and his men.