Legend of Captain Fear

The Pollywog Adventures

Children - Mystery
192 Pages
Reviewed on 10/07/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Polly Peterson, or Pollywog, and her best friends, Joey and Henry, discover a great mystery in Cape Doom. The friends were spending their summer with Polly's Uncle Ben and Aunt Milly in this cozy little seaside town. They met a kid of their own age named Hudson, always accompanied by an English bulldog, Molly. Uncle Ben told Polly, Henry, and Joey the story of Captain Fear, once a horrendous pirate and a fierce protector of Cape Doom after meeting the beautiful Lilly Bell. The legend says that his ship is still on guard, especially during foggy nights. Is it a coincidence that Polly sees a distant flag with a skull and cross bones on the sea? And why does their new friend, Hudson, have the same surname as Lilly? What other secrets does Cape Doom hide? Legend of Captain Fear: The Pollywog Adventures by Jill Thomas, the second book in a series, is a compelling read for children from six to twelve years and readers who enjoy an engaging mystery entwined with a breathtaking adventure.

Legend of Captain Fear is a children's book, but it kept me on the edge of my seat during many thrilling scenes. Jill Thomas knows how to tell a good story. Also, she is a master of descriptions. Jill perfectly depicted a small town in all its coziness. But Cape Doom has history, and some of its pages are dark. The descriptions are balanced as the author hints at dangers that still lurk in the darkness of foggy nights. Uncle Ben and Aunt Molly are wonderful people, but there is also the mysterious Captain Jack with a hook instead of a hand. This character will capture children's imaginations, just as he intrigues Polly and her friends. Polly is a great character to follow. Jill shows us interesting dynamics in the group of friends, where Polly is an obvious leader. She is curious, like many eleven-year-olds are, is always ready for a good adventure, and sometimes forgets about the possible danger. Hudson is wonderfully eccentric with a dry sense of humor. Even Molly the bulldog is a vivid character with a great personality. Legend of Captain Fear has a solid plotline with many fascinating twists. As for the main intrigue, Jill kept me guessing until the very end of the book. Legend of Captain Fear is a read that will instill a love for maritime-themed books in children.

Pikasho Deka

Legend of Captain Fear: The Pollywog Adventures is a children's mystery adventure novel by Jill Thomas. When asked to spend her summer with her Great-uncle Ben and Aunt Milly, eleven-year-old Polly Peterson (Pollywog) invites her best friends, Joey Hinkle and Henry Mitchell, to tag along. The three friends arrive in the seaside town of Cape Doom and soon learn about the legend of Captain Fear, an infamous pirate from the 19th century, who people believe still haunts the shores with his dreaded ship. Meanwhile, Polly and her friends meet Hudson Bell, an English boy spending the summer with his granddad. The four preteens develop a close bond and, on Polly's initiative, set out to shed light on the mystery behind Captain Fear. They discover the Bell family's links with Captain Fear, but will they be able to uncover his secret?

If you're a fan of adventure tales featuring old legends, pirates, or sleuth mystery-loving tweens, Legend of Captain Fear is the perfect book for you. Author Jill Thomas weaves an absorbing yarn that flies by without a single hitch, with a smooth narrative and an engaging plot that keeps you glued to the pages, wondering what's coming next. The story is very well-paced, complemented by a compelling cast of characters, each of whom brings something different to the narrative. I liked the dynamic between the four central characters and their interactions, which are almost always entertaining. The mystery is resolved with a satisfying conclusion toward the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I would recommend this book to preteens and young adult readers alike.

Natalie Soine

Legend of Captain Fear by Jill Thomas is an enchanting children's mystery novel that unfolds in the coastal town of Cape Doom. Polly, Joey, and Henry embark on a thrilling summer adventure with Polly's Great-Uncle Ben and Aunt Milly. Their seaside escapades introduce them to Hudson Bell and his trusty bulldog, Molly. The story takes a mysterious turn when Great-Uncle Ben regales the children with a tale of Charlie Bell, who encountered the pirate ship Widow Maker in 1869. This fateful encounter led to a unique bond between Charlie, his mother Lily, and the enigmatic Captain Fear. Charlie's life took an unexpected turn, leaving behind a legacy shrouded in maritime intrigue. As the children dig deeper into the town's history, they uncover journals, maps, and secrets that link them to Captain Fear's legend. Their curiosity leads them to Devil's Cove, where they make a spine-chilling discovery. With ghostly encounters, perilous boat rides, and the revelation of Captain Jack's hook hand, Legend of Captain Fear weaves a thrilling narrative that captures the essence of friendship, mystery, and the enduring spirit of adventure in the coastal town of Cape Doom.

Author Jill Thomas has crafted a vivid and engaging tale, drawing readers into the world of Polly and her friends. The characters are well-developed, and their interactions feel authentic and relatable. Legend of Captain Fear is filled with humor, heartwarming moments, and a sense of nostalgia for small-town life. The vivid descriptions of Cape Doom transport readers to this delightful coastal town, making it feel like a character in itself. What stands out in this story is the strong sense of family and friendship, as well as the anticipation of new adventures. As readers follow Polly, Joey, and Henry on their journey, they can't help but be enthralled by the story's warmth and charm.