Well, I thought this was a fun, adventure story. Sometimes you just want an easy read that will take you to another place for a while without any complications.
If you want to read a summary of this novel, you can read it here.
The narrative voice is in first person from Alosa’s perspective and right out of the gate, you clearly see her personality. She’s a badass seventeen-year-old pirate captain who’s fearless and clever. Sharp-tongued. She’s definitely not all talk. When she threatens to kill people, she follows through. You never question her abilities to defend herself and win. She’s constantly using clever tricks to get past Draxen and his crew.
Alosa isn’t the only well-developed character. There’s also Riden, who I briefly fell in love with, and maybe I still am. He’s a hot, muscular first mate, who has a compassionate side, which you know is rare for a pirate. He’s not perfect. That would be annoying for a reader to read a character who sounds like the perfect guy. Well, he’s a pirate who steals and kills. He’s also a coward in some ways. His brother Draxen is the captain and Riden won’t stand up to him. He’s loyal to his brother, but he tolerates his brother’s abusiveness.
Draxen isn’t abusive towards Riden, but to others such as Alosa. Granted Alosa is Draxen’s prisoner, but it’s clear that Draxen enjoys being cruel towards others, which you learn as soon as he opens his mouth.
You don’t meet the pirate king until the end and he sounds intimidating just from the first sentence he speaks.
The characters have weird names, but some of them sound like they’re derivatives of simple names except for the change of a letter or two. For example, Alosa instead of Alisa, the author’s sister, to whom she dedicated this novel. Riden reminded me of Ryan. Cromis reminds me of Thomas unless that’s pronounced Crow-mis and Vordan instead of Jordan.
I love how the dialogue shows the characters’ distinct personalities. You can hear their tone of voice, even sarcasm. Alosa and Riden had amusing interactions, because they were always taunting each other. This isn’t the best example, but it’s the first one that I could find since I failed to write down page numbers.
Pockets overflowing, Riden stands and moves for the door.
“Where are you taking those?” I ask.
“I’ll put them in a safe place.”
“Also known as the bottom of the ocean?”
He grins before disappearing.
I’m really starting to despise that man.
The story is fast-paced. I can’t recall a time when the story felt like it was lagging. It’s also a short novel at 311 pages.
The reader feels a sense of hopelessness as you watch Alosa get herself into quite a pickle, but astute readers know that it’s just a ruse to keep us reading. Of course, you play along, because you’re interested in seeing how the story unfolds.
I didn’t particularly care for a few things in this novel. The author uses typical pirate story tropes, specifically, secret maps that lead to hidden treasures and rum. Also, the end had a big fight scene and although you expect pirates to die, the deaths the author choose seemed wasteful or maybe forced. One character that dies is more important than the other, but it still felt a little too tidy. Then there’s the ending itself. You get some resolve, but it’s left open, because this is a duology. It has a cliffhanger ending, which is annoying, because now I have to wait until the final book comes out to find out how the story truly ends.