I was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than an...moreI was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than anything else could. When Netgalley accepted my request, I was so anxious to dive right into the story. I was never really worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. And it did. Even going beyond what I was hoping for, and promising so much more.
I find pirates rather intriguing. Maybe that stems from my liking of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but don’t pillaging, sword fighting, treasure seeking pirates have a ring of adventure and mystery to them? Even if some of them are good for nothing scoundrels. The pirates in this here book were fashioned quite well. The story is told from a young pirate girl’s point of view. Which I honestly find quite appealing. A pirate girl isn’t going to be a TSTL heroine who relies on her hero to save her. Ananna was fierce and independent. She takes action, and she doesn’t wait for the dazzling hero to get her out of the situations she gets herself into. And this is what drew me completely into the story.
I found myself falling in love with Ananna’s voice. She was just such fun to read. She was a strong character. She was the fierce, independent pirate girl, but she also shows a soft side. A side that cares about people and that could love. And she shows that she’s not completely fearless. There are things that scare her senseless. But she doesn’t let her fright get the better of her. She rises after the scare with strength and determination to set out to do what she needs to. Then there was Naji. The assassin whose life Ananna saved and now they’re bonded together and they have to find a way to break the curse. Naji was a pretty cool character, and I felt was created really good. He’s an awesome assassin. Black as night that can move without a sound and can kill with precision and skill. But Naji isn’t your typical prince charming who has girls falling over their feet to get him, who dazzles everyone, including the heroine, with his charms and extremely hot looks. Naji is scarred, physically and internally. And this shows the reader his weakness. It shows that he is not just the fearless, stealthy assassin. He has demons he’s trying to fight, and he tries to hide it. And I really did feel for him. I find myself liking the tortured hero, because it shows they’re not perfect, and that they have a past.
I liked the subtle, slow growing romance. I liked that Ananna didn’t immediately fall in love with him (which would be pretty hard to do when he just tried to kill her). I liked that they were forced to be together which they both resented, but that through this bond, this curse, they grew to understand each other. I liked that Ananna was able to see past Naji’s scars, and focus on the man who desperately needs help. I felt that the buildup of their friendship, and potential, inevitable romance was done well and was beautiful. I’m extremely excited to see how their romance will blossom.
And the ending. The ending was perfect! The last line made me smile and made my heart grow warm because of its beauty and love. This novel was beautifully crafted and executed. It was by no means perfect. When I really think about it, there are a few flaws, but I just don’t want to think about those, because the book was otherwise so awesome that I don’t want my love of it tainted in any way. So, I’ll focus on the bright spots instead. K? The characters were very well rounded, and I loved them, the plot was exciting and intriguing, the world was luscious and wonderfully built, the writing was amazing. Pretty much I just loved the whole book. Clarke did an awesome job, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Which should be coming out any day now. Sometime next year. Or maybe sooner if I can bribe the publisher, and find some ingenious way to force Clarke to write faster. Because we all know how readers hate to wait. Anyway, I applaud Clarke for writing an incredible, worthwhile young adult novel that hopefully readers everywhere will love.
Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
This book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager t...moreThis book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager to keep reading. Most of my disinterest was because of the characters. They were flat and boring. They didn’t feel real to me. And Lena was the worst. (which is really bad, because if the MC doesn’t generate enough interest in the reader, her involvement in the plot will seem pointless, and her relationships with the other characters will be stupid and boring).She was one of those too stupid to live ‘heroines’. The choices she made were so stupid. And I know characters make stupid choices all the time, but some authors have the ability of making the reader understand the character’s decision, and can make that stupid choice they did help them as they grow and learn and are shaped into that likeable, believable person. Lena was not this person. She betrayed a few people, and I never saw any real redemption or personal growth in her. I didn’t see how this wrong decision helped her to change, or realize the horrible thing she did and have her try to make things right. She knew what she did was wrong, and she did feel bad, but I saw more of her feeling sorry for herself, and wondering if they could ever forgive her, which, I guess they did right after she committed it, because they never really felt like they’d been betrayed, (at least that’s the feeling I got when I was reading). And here’s another thing I didn’t like about her. She was selfish, and thought more about her sorry self and her disgusting hands and feet, and thinking that Jimson could never love her because of what she is, even when Jimson is kind to her and pays her more attention than she deserves.
Another thing that took me away from the book was the dialogue. It was too formal and stiff, and therefore made the characters feel stiffer. The plot wasn’t captivating like I wanted it to be. Exciting stuff happened, but I didn’t feel excited. The ending wasn’t so great, and didn’t make me at all excited to read a sequel, (if there will be one, and most likely will be).
So this book was rather unsatisfying for me. Hopefully there are people who will like it much more than I did.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the arc.(less)