Figurehead: Book 2 - Bite of the Jackal
by Rock Lambert

"He prayed to live long enough to find him, kill him, and have the soul-satisfying absolution of watching him die."

Lambert takes his readers on a journey that jumps between 1675 and 2015 and allows readers to experience life on the Atlantic through the characters and majestic ships. Building on Rise of the Legend, the sequel focuses on two themes: a centuries-old love story and vengeance. In the 1675 story line, Silas Pike, captain of the Avenger, is possessed by his desire to vanquish the demonic pirate, Jackal. Over three centuries later, the spirit dwelling in the recovered figurehead is awakened, building the suspense and helping the audience understand the fate of the main characters from the seventeenth century.

Bite of the Jackal is an enjoyable read filled with elements of adventure and fantasy, whether in the seventeenth-century pursuit of a cold-hearted villain or the discovery of a resurrected figurehead in twenty-first century Carter’s Point, Virginia. Although the back and forth between the eras provides perspective, it leaves little time for fleshing out both plot lines. For instance, readers join Pike on his quest to rescue his beloved fiancee, Francine Adams; however, the development of this profound love is found in the earlier installment. While Pike, the figurehead, Sally, Robb, and the venomous Jackal are well developed, the supporting characters show small growth in their character arc. A fantastic element is clearly in place with the awakening of the figurehead, though it is difficult to discern whether the figurehead has a darker underlying purpose. Dialogue that is true to its respective time period will intrigue readers, leaving them wanting more conversation between Pike and the figurehead.

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