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It's the 21st century, and Jaclyn Rousseau is not where she should be. 1661 disappeared before her eyes, and there's no way home. That matters not to Jaclyn—she lost her lover, and everything else that meant anything to her, in the West Indies.

In an adventure that crosses time and the Atlantic, a murderous pirate must find a place for herself in this new world.

Can she escape her past, or will it catch up with her?

(20% of the net profits of this book is donated to the World Literacy Foundation)

420 pages, Paperback

First published September 11, 2013

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About the author

Dominica Malcolm

9 books38 followers
As a writer, editor, and publisher at Solarwyrm Press, Dominica Malcolm focuses primarily on diverse characters and settings, sharing the stories that are often ignored by mainstream media. Much of this interest grew out of her five and a half years living in Malaysia, where she became more innately aware of the issues that stem from lack of diversity.

Though born and raised in Australia, and having spent half her twenties in Malaysia, Dominica is now based in California, where the majority of her time is taken up by improv and acting pursuits. She hopes to take her interest in diversity to the world of filmmaking.

With such a wide range of creative pursuits, she has made short films in Australia; music videos in Malaysia and Hawaii; and performed stand-up comedy in Australia, Ireland, and Malaysia. You can find videos of all of these things (and more) on her YouTube channel.

She also has a blog where she writes about her travels, creative pursuits, and diversity in the media (or lack thereof).

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5 stars
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13 (36%)
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8 (22%)
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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Lauren Mitchell.
Author 9 books14 followers
August 12, 2013
I've been following this novel pretty much since its inception, and what a journey it's been! I was pleased to be one of the early readers once the early draft was completed, and it's a further pleasure to have read it at last in its final form.

The story itself is straightforward enough - a love story across time, at its heart - but the characters and issues surrounding that core plot are what make Adrift unique.

Various queer issues are addressed, including the issue of biphobia as expressed by members of the queer community; this inclusion particularly pleased me as I could identify with the targeted person. Beyond that, characters' sexuality is presented relatively free of bias and shame.

I particularly liked the origin story behind Adrift's mermaids; the way that the characters' lives intertwined; and the straightforward, honest narrative voice throughout the novel, whether I was reading the present action or the past flashbacks.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
6 reviews3 followers
September 11, 2013
The book sticks out for me, and surprised me a few times. The idea of exploring what happens to a walking anachronism struck me as interesting, and potentially humorous. While I remember having a sense of 'what am I getting myself into" in the first few pages, that passed pretty quickly and I did not look back. The book delivered on my expectations, and more.

The book makes good use of shifting points of view to the advantage of the story. Another thing I did not anticipate, is that the book starts at the middle, and works towards the conclusion while regularly interspersed sections deal with the backstory. This serves to enhance the mystery and leads to some surprises. The "past" scenes are written in the same tense as the regular scenes and are just as interesting in their own right as the 'main' story in the present. The past sequences strike a good balance between using contemporary language (for ease of comprehension) and not sacrificing narrative tone or suspension of disbelief.

It's all rather well coordinated actually; in one sense there are two major story threads that intersect, and happen to be set in different time periods. For a good chunk of the story I found myself pretty equally invested in finding out what happened next in both threads. The narrative pace did not get bogged down for me, and the transitions between threads, while clearly marked, at the same time did not break the overall narrative.

While the focus is mostly on Jack, the displaced character from the past, other characters do exist and have their own motivations and stories. Speaking of Jack, I occasionally found myself disagreeing with her actions, but I never disliked her, and quite often felt bad for her.

As other reviewers here mentioned, the author side steps a cliche with the ending. The mutable nature of sexuality for some of the characters is refreshing; i.e. no effort to force every character into neatly-labeled, one size fits all boxes. They just are, for the most part.

Profile Image for Jeremy Malcolm.
Author 6 books4 followers
September 3, 2013
This book starts with a mystery, and never slows down. You don't have a chance to get bored because each chapter alternates between the present day and the past. This is also an incentive to keep reading because often you want to know what happens next in one of those time periods, but you can't find out until two chapters later!

It is also very effective how the two time periods intersect (especially in the second-last chapter of the past time period, but also at several other points). There are things that you learn in each time period that throw light on what is happening in the other one. It is slightly distracting, and perhaps unnecessary, that the tense in which the book is written changes between the past and present chapters, but you will get over this soon enough.

The themes of this book include pirate life, mythical creatures, sexuality, race relations, capitalism and time travel, but ultimately it is the story of one young woman, and the other themes are just aspects of her life. (I thought that there would be more of a message to the book when the Occupy movement came into the plot, but this was more of just a setting and a plot device.)

There are a few other characters, but apart from her lover, we don't get to know most of the others so well. There is one point at which I thought the male lead character acted in a way that a real man wouldn't, but otherwise the characters are sketched well enough. It is not a very deep/emotional book though, it is rather quite action packed.

The author creates some of her own mythology for the book, which works well although you will have to suspend your disbelief about the main plot device that allows the characters to travel through time! The pace of the book picks up towards the end, and I felt that perhaps the latter chapters could have been fleshed out more, but on the other hand it is good that the book never felt boring. The ending is not quite as predictable as you may think, and it provides a good journey for the character.
Profile Image for Sarah-Jayne Briggs.
Author 1 book47 followers
September 28, 2013
(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).

(This review may contain spoilers).

I quite liked this book. The characters were interesting and engaging and the book was easy to read and enjoyable.

As I've mentioned before... I do like time travel stories. I liked the way it was handled in this book, though I wasn't quite sure about Jaclyn at first (the spelling of her name kept changing between the past and the present). I was quite glad that there wasn't anything romantic between her and Dick, though - I thought the way things turned out with the characters worked a lot better.

I liked the parts that were set in the past and I didn't find the tense-switching as jarring as I'd thought it would be, though there was one occasion where the tense slipped into present when it was supposed to be past tense.

There were a couple of times when I thought periods of time were skipped over, which was a little jarring. Something would be happening and I'd have no idea what the build-up to it was.

I didn't like Katherine/Kitty very much, though I did like her and Jaclyn together when they were both pirates. I wasn't sure if I liked Prudence, either, though the concept of mermaids being formed from murdered unfaithful women was quite an interesting one. I liked the use of the mermaids in the book, though I would have liked to learn more about them.

I have to say, it didn't seem quite right when Jaclyn faints after getting applause for singing. I'm not sure if that was actually meant to be a hint of what was to come, but it still seemed somewhat strange to me.

I did like the ending to this book. It wasn't a strictly happy one, but it worked really well with the characters and situations. All in all, I really did like this book and the characters. It kept me reading and I'd probably recommend it to people I think might like it.
Profile Image for Reileen.
1 review
September 16, 2013
The book offers an easy-read yet interesting story.

The author was able to portray the main characters in such a way that you will develop a personal connection with them throughout the reading session. I, for instance, had these mixed feelings toward the protoganists. The characters did leave strong impressions on me; however, I think there is a character in the story who was not developed fully but was introduced in an affecting manner.

Also, the author had been effective and consistent with her narration style which made it easy to follow the story even in two interchanging periods/settings. The bits and pieces of history and current events which were alluded in some chapters of the book can be treated as an added-value for the readers (you will definitely have new learnings after reading Adrift). Perhaps, there could had been a way to present a couple of these historical facts/events in an approach that is beyond being a setting or a conversational piece.

It is also worth mentioning that there are lots of issues that were bravely tackled and/or introduced in the novel -sexuality, gender roles, capitalism. I like how all these were weaved in one story.

In the end, the novel did meet my expectations. Adrift is one of the stories that will keep you reading until you reach the last leaf of the book.

Do not miss readin' it! (Oooops, yeah ye might sound like a scurvy pirate fer a while too)

Profile Image for K.C. Finn.
Author 41 books370 followers
August 28, 2013
When I first started this book it took me a while to get into the sometimes heavily detailed historical side of the story. Whilst I was impressed at the extent of the research Dominica Malcolm puts into her work, I'll admit I don't normally read such heavy content. But the characters and the overall development of the plot appealed to me a great deal and I continued with the book.
I am so glad I did.
I found the overall tale to be highly engaging and the adventure was well worth going on. There were laughs and seriousness and downright outrageous goings on, with very realistic and well-developed characters that I could like/hate and be deeply invested in. The complicated twists and turns of the plot prevented Adrift from ever becoming predictable, which I always highly value in a story.
I also totally LOVED the ending conclusion to this rocky romantic adventure. The decision made by the central character at the end of the tale was well justified and bold, and I'm sincerely glad that the author didn't feel the need to succumb to the social pressures of any one of the expected endings to the tale.
If, like me, you love adventure, good character development, cunning plots and great storytelling, you'll rate this book 4 stars just like me. If, unlike me, you also love a deeply rich historical background with all the trimmings, I challenge you not to rate it 5 stars instead!
2 reviews
October 10, 2013
I can't say that I would normally be drawn to a book where the back cover pitches a story about time travel and female murderous pirates. It screams fantasy which is just not my thing. It took a little time to get into the story, but somehow this young, first time author drew me into her tale and made me want to keep reading.

I don't want to give away too much of the delightfully original storyline which Malcolm has managed to weave together and make me believe. I don't want to spoil the discovery for others. Every step Malcolm takes in her story seems completely believable though to an outsider is wildly fantastic.

The rear cover of the book gives a hint of what awaits the reader, including the reference to time travel from the 17th to 21st century, and the female pirate; but that is only a small taste of the unexpected surprises and twists within the covers. Fantastic as they are, Malcolm made them all believable.

You should read the book and enjoy the journey as much as I did. I can really see this as a great movie and it is screaming for a sequel!
Profile Image for Jodi.
83 reviews8 followers
November 4, 2013
This was such a enjoyable read! I have read other time travel books, but most of the time the characters travel back in time, usually not forward. I love how Jaclyn reacts and accepts the 21st technology. The book shifts back and forth between the 21st and 17th centuries, from where Jaclyn came from. Also making this story quite unique is the romance and love between Jaclyn and Katherine, the gender roles they are forced to assume as pirates, and how their relationship would have been acceptable in the 21st century. Lots of action, fantasy, and great adventure really make this a great story!

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
Profile Image for M. Allen.
Author 16 books21 followers
January 7, 2014
I savored this book. What a treat when the fantasy genre is written with intelligence, a sense of history, and wit! This is by far my favorite time-travel story. I loved the depth of each of the characters and found the plotline riveting. Definitely recommend this to any reader looking for a good novel to curl up with on a stormy night.
Profile Image for Erica.
39 reviews
January 22, 2015
I'm sorry to say I struggled to keep interested after about 35%, but I did read it through to the end. It felt in places as if the plot diverted from where it was going to justify something later on. I also lost interest with Prudence and with one of the central characters sleeping around but still devoted to the other central character. Disappointing.
Profile Image for Katharine (Ventureadlaxre).
1,522 reviews46 followers
July 22, 2016
Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.
January 5, 2014
Received this book through Goodreads first reads programme.

I read this book but afterwards thought, What? That was pretty much all the way through, I just didn't get it that much and didn't enjoy it too much.
Profile Image for Martha.
53 reviews2 followers
March 18, 2014
Interesting book. The characters were very believable & the descriptive writing was wonderful - made you feel as if you were with the main character seeing & experiencing things for the first time.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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