The Logbooks of Admiral Jake
A YA Fantasy-Adventure Novel by Jon Nappa
The Logbooks of Admiral Jake
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Available in Illustrated Paperback
The Logbooks of Admiral Jake is scheduled to be told over the span of 10 annually-released novels with many exciting surprises along the way. Each edition is already designed and will be handsomely bound with illustrations in every chapter. 2020 brings the debut volume in a deluxe illustrated paperback format.
The kernel of inspiration for this series began many years ago while the author was a young screenwriter in the motion picture industry. Simultaneously occurring at that time was an ongoing television series promoting an upcoming Amazon Expedition by the son of famed explorer, Jacques Cousteau. Much anticipation was built about what might be encountered. After waiting several months for the first documentary broadcast of the expedition, the eventual presentation was disappointing. It wasn’t that the actual expedition wasn’t interesting or fascinating or excellent in many ways – it was all of those things. However, it did not live up to hoped-for and imagined expectations. Shortly thereafter, Nappa began imagining what a jungle river adventure might be like if it truly turned out to be filled with fantastic adventure and out-of-this-world encounters. In time, his seed idea grew into an ocean-going series inspired by C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the Cousteau Amazon Expedition and, of course, the larger questions of love, life, death and the hereafter. After all, like so many of us, the author found himself on a journey through life that would eventually include getting older, getting married, having children, facing trials, embracing joyful triumphs, enduring tragic heartbreaks, at times feeling like it all made sense and smartly added up, and at other times feeling like all was lost in a fog or at the end of a precipice, causing one to wonder: where is it all going? what does it all mean? does it mean anything at all? and why is this so hard?
And so, the Logbooks began…
𝒜dmiral Jake begins in a forest of frenzied flight. Matey, her family, and others from the pioneer settlement must do all they can to flee the marauding pirates, but things do not go well. After a horrific sequence of events, 17-year old Matey and her 12-year old brother, Buck, must find their way back to safety and somehow find a way to move on. But the difficulties do not cease, nor is the direction easy to discern, nor are the souls they encounter in all ways familiar. Whether flyers or dwarfs, pirates or double-realm rovers, storytellers, or others, all are in various places of conflict and confusion, converging in and out of troubles and trials. Matey must find out what side she is really on, to what end must she aim, is triumph even possible, and does it really make any difference in the end?
COMING SOON: fully dramatized, book length, audio podcastClick Here for sample Chapter 1
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
"This YA novel opens with a bang. Dynamic prose places the reader in the middle of the action. In a world of adventure and mysteries, Matey and her brother must traverse known and unknown dangers in order to find safety and a home. Nappa’s writing captures the cadence of the time. Whether a dialogue exchange, or a description of the lively historical period, Nappa makes it clear he did his homework, and his prowess with language is in full display in this genuinely fun YA novel. Piracy is familiar in children's and YA literature, and readers will find many expected tropes. These are evergreen characters, people, and stories that distill the longing to be in a world a little less domesticated. Nappa’s characters are as developed as his worldbuilding. From the Admiral to Matey, Buck and Gunther, the people that live in this world of adventure are as rich in agency as they are detailed in their motivations."
—The 2020 BookLife Prize
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
"In the fantasy world of The Logbooks of Admiral Jake, disparate realms meet in a classic case of good versus evil on the high seas and beyond.
Jon Nappa’s rough-and-tumble adventure novel The Logbooks of Admiral Jake includes pirates, magic and supernatural beings, and precarious predicaments in its tale about the power of stories to guide destinies, shape worlds, and illuminate the mysteries of the universe.
Opening with an unnamed storyteller who recounts the story of the legendary Admiral Jake and his mysterious logbook, which seems to capture the past as it occurs, the novel moves back in time to recount a pirate raid that decimated a village and brought a group of strangers together on a common quest.
That group includes Seventeen-year-old Matey and her younger brother Buck, who are determined to save their parents, who have been captured by the marauding pirates. They meet Gunther, a red-headed giant of a man, who takes them under his wing and leads them on their journey as he seeks to avenge the death of his wife, who also fell victim to the gang. Their mutual target is Ash, the pirate leader who struggles with supernatural darkness and is obsessed with destroying Admiral Jake, who is always one step ahead of the pirate’s master plan to control every ocean. Matey and Buck are soon joined by Leef—a young flyer who is part human and part bird—who works to learn the aerial skills necessary to be recognized as an adult by his family.
A nighttime encounter with the storyteller reveals to Matey the power of the admiral’s logbook, which connects not only past and present, but two worlds and two realities that run parallel to each other. She comes to realize that her adventures are being written in the logbook as she lives them, as though by an author observing from another realm. More palimpsest than poltergeist, the logbook promises insights and riddles in abundance as her life continues to reveal itself in its pages.
The first in a series of Logbook novels, most of this book is set in a single realm and reality. There, sentient trees talk, various supernatural creatures roam, and there are an abundance of magical items, both good and evil. Black-and-grey illustrations are included, providing clear representations of the dramatic encounters; these also help to flesh out the book’s world building.
The story involves betrayals and the confrontation of an assortment of supernatural creatures and powers. Characters within all of the multiple story lines are developed with depth, giving meaning to their various relationships. Crisp conversations make up a significant portion of the novel, and are used to balance the exposition that’s devoted to the characters’ back stories.
In the final chapters, the characters and conflicts are transported to an otherworldly court, where the storyteller’s word is the ultimate authority. It’s an immersive conclusion to an exciting book in which new realities are created, shifted, and realigned.
In the fantasy world of the novel The Logbooks of Admiral Jake, disparate realms meet in a classic case of good versus evil on the high seas and beyond."
— Klay Dyer
Clarion Foreword Reviews
April 27, 2021