My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published: August 28th, 2018
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates, Action, Adventure, Revenge, Loyalty, Family, Sisterhood, Feminism, Romance
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?
This is the feminist pirate story that I’ve been waiting for all my life, with badass women who promote sisterhood and fight with each and every muscle of their bodies!
Do you even know how hard it is to find a good pirate story without ridiculousness, misogynistic pirates who think of women as property and bad pirate jokes?
It’s hard, man, it’s really hard. There’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue that a lot of people seem to love, I guess, but personally the male hero rubbed me the wrong way and I just could not finish it.
But I enjoyed myself tremendously with this book. It follows a large group of female pirates, with Caledonia as their captain (who hides a terrible secret). These women do not care about makeup, dresses, gossip or Justin Bieber. These are women that will order you to give them twenty if you speak out of turn and kill you if you turn your back on them.
These badass pirates especially hate Bullets, who terrorize the sea and its ships. Even kings and queens on land respond to Aric’s commands, because his powerful influence extends beyond the waters and his blood-thirstiness knows no respite. But Caledonia and her crew has had enough of him. They want to take him down, one ship at a time.
It’s exciting. It’s different. It’s unique. Adventurous. Action-packed. Full of themes, like loyalty, trust, friendship, family and revenge. There is even an unexpected love story. There are LGBTQIA+ characters, but the lesbian relationship that is included is so shoved into the background that I can’t tell you much about it, sadly. That was very disappointing. But I was still pleasantly surprised with the person Caledonia fell in love with. I… approve? Things are bound to get really interesting.
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