Review: Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion

Title: Silver: Return to Treasure Island
Author: Andrew Motion
Publisher: Crown
Published: August 7, 2012
Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN: 978-0-307-88487-9
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:

It's almost forty years after the events of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island:  Jim Hawkins now runs an inn called the Hispaniola on the English coast with his son, Jim, and Long John Silver has returned to England to live in obscurity with his daughter, Natty. Their lives are quiet and unremarkable; their adventures have seemingly ended.
      But for Jim and Natty, the adventure is just beginning. One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind so many years before. As Jim and Natty set sail in their fathers' footsteps, they quickly learn that this journey will not be easy.  Immediately, they come up against murderous pirates, long-held grudges, and greed and deception lurking in every corner. And when they arrive on Treasure Island, they find terrible scenes awaiting them—difficulties which require all their wit as well as their courage.  Nor does the adventure end there, since they have to sail homeward again...

My thoughts:
Okay, I've never read Treasure Island. There I said it. However my son did go through a pirate phase, and I've watched many film versions of it from Muppet Treasure Island to the Treasure Island filmed in 1950. I felt fairly comfortable with the story line of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson that I would be able to read Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion with no problems. Before I get started though I should warn you that I won't be comparing Motion to Stevenson since I have no way to base a precise opinion on the subject. This review is all about Silver.
Silver takes place several years after Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver have returned home from their adventure. Both character's lives are shaped by the past; almost tormented. Their children are now older, and have suffered the consequences of the effects that have stayed with them since their voyage to Treasure Island. Jim, named after his father, and Natty, the daughter of Long John Silver, take up the quest that their parents left behind--to get the treasure. Young Jim and Natty both long for freedom from their fathers, and are eager to start this adventure. However this adventure takes them to a place of beauty as well as a place of horror.
I listened to this book on audio as well as read it. The audio is read by David Tennant. If you're a Doctor Who fan, you know who I'm talking about. If you're a Harry Potter fan, he played Bart Crouch, Jr. If you still have no idea who I'm talking about, go to Netflix immediately and then come back. Tennant did a fantastic job reading this book. He's just as animated on audio as the characters he plays on television. I absolutely loved the voices he created for all of the characters in this book.
I really wasn't sure what to expect of this book when I first cracked the spine. I knew it would be adventurous from the summary, but I wasn't sure if it would be light-hearted or more on the serious side. Although this story contains light-hearted moments, the story line also weights heavy with the themes of man verses man, and man versed nature. It doesn't gloss over the cruelty of man, or the depths of depravity that some can go to. I liked the direction that Motion took this sequel. I think he did a great job mixing intrigue and adventure, but throwing in a darkness that the characters must overcome. Jim and Natty really evolve throughout this novel. They start out a little on the naive side, but the trials of their journey, it changes them. I enjoyed reading this book, and the descriptions that made this book come alive. Overall it's a good read. Weather you've read Treasure Island or not I think this book is worth trying.

*I would strongly caution younger readers against this book. I think this book would be better suited for older children around 13 years old and up.

My rating: