Winner of the Academy Award for Best Screenplay (John Singleton), The Adventures of Tintin is a sweeping epic about the exploration of the West and the efforts of a blindly honest and honorable man to find his path in the vastness of the unknown. In contemporary London, an aging artist (Daniel Craig) whose name is Tintin finds a beautiful model of a pirate ship on sale at an auction. While inspecting the vessel, the young explorer, Tintin (Jamie Bell) finds the same sign written on the faded decal of his home – the home of his beloved wife, Rose (Sandra Oh), who was killed aboard the pirate ship when he was just a boy. With a magical voice heard only by his dog, Tintin sets sail with other explorers and soon finds themselves in the middle of the California gold rush where they must face many dangers.
As they make their way through the uncharted waters of California, they encounter many dangers including swashbuckling, snake charmers, Spanish buccaneers, and Native Americans who are hell-bent on stealing the fortune they are seeking. With a bountiful supply of gold chomping at their heels, Tintin’s faith and courage are tested as he battles these seemingly supernatural enemies. However, when the ship he is crewed by enters the California harbor, and they are forced to fight for their lives against the enemy ships and the gold rush itself, this devoted explorer proves his mettle when he uncovers the true treasure within – the legendary Hornby Tree.
As they prepare to sail the legendary horn away, Tintin and the others must navigate a dangerous and greedy vessel full of bounty hunters, Spanish destroyers, and hungry sharks. Meanwhile, Rose’s husband develops amnesia and can’t recall much of the boat’s history. The treasure is now in danger of not being found and the gang must work together to battle against these enemies and the greedy crew of the Hornby. Meanwhile, Rose must locate the true horn treasure and return it to Tintin before it is taken away again.
Sporting a screenplay that pulls from many of Hemingway’s own tales of adventure, The Adventures of Tintin provides a great story filled with adventure, humor, and heart. The book is divided into four separate sections that each deal with a different portion of the Hornby mystery. This makes for an interesting timeline but also allows readers to enjoy the book in parts one through three as they read along.
The first segment, The Mysterious Mists of Magicland, details the first days of their quest. The story follows Tintin and his adventurous band as they seek to find the legendary horn and learn why it has been cursed. The ship itself is an artifact from the Spanish Armada that has sunk. A captain whose name is Robber coughs up information about the sinking of the ship and how he came to own the magical ship. After learning of his connection to the ship, Rose, Tintin, and Rose’s friend, Aloette, set out on a rescue mission to find the magic ship and recover its treasure. Along the way, they encounter pirates, vicious beasts, and other obstacles on their journey.
The second segment of The Adventures of Tintin focuses on the actual treasure hunt. Rose, Aloette, and Alodia find themselves adhering to the legend of the buried treasure. They make their way through the jungle, fight and flee from the pirates, and confront the evil witch of the mines. The crew is rounded up by Rose and the others while Tintin finds the enchanted sword. The magic sword allows them to overcome the evil witch and save the jeweled ship.
The final segment of the book takes place on the ship after it’s been rescued. Rose, Aloette, and Alodia are reunited with Tintin, who had gone from his home to earth. Tintin helps the girls solve puzzles and go on treasure hunts. He also gives them advice about avoiding traps and answering some of the questions they ask about the ship.
All in all, this is an exciting adventure novel with a lot of humor. It’s easy to tell why it has been chosen as the basis for the sequel, The Adventures of TinTin. If you like the characters in the first book, you’ll probably enjoy this one more. It’s definitely worth reading.