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Compass Rose

(Compass Rose #1)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,886 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Rose was born facing due north, with an inherent perception of cardinal points flowing through her veins. Her uncanny sense of direction earns her a coveted place among the Archipelago Fleet elite, but it also attracts the attention of Admiral Comita, who sends her on a secret mission deep into pirate territory. Accompanied by a ragtag crew of mercenaries and under the com ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Bywater Books
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Rakhya No brutalization or attempted rape.
The book has a few fights (both hand to hand and with blades), one on page kill, and very few mentions of blood or…more
No brutalization or attempted rape.
The book has a few fights (both hand to hand and with blades), one on page kill, and very few mentions of blood or corpses. If that helps, none of these are presented in a graphical manner. (less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  1,886 ratings  ·  285 reviews

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I vacillated between five and three stars as I read and ultimately land in the high threes, rounding up to four stars.

The book focuses on a Waterworld like setting five hundred years into the future after global warming wreaks havoc on the Earth and destroys civilization as we know it. I wouldn't call this sci-fi since technology seems almost non-existent but it's certainly dystopian. And it falls into paranormal since our lead is a human compass, literally. She's somehow tapped into the Earth's
Jude in the Stars
Jul 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love reading because stories allow me to feel things I haven’t always been able to let myself feel in real life. When I read, I feel what the characters feel, provided they’re written well. And man, did this book make me feel… Don’t expect warm and comforting from Anna Burke. When she says she loves to torture her characters, she is not kidding. She does it with such beautiful talent that I can’t even be mad at her. Compass Rose is her debut novel, the inaugural recipient of the Sandra Moran S ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this! Dystopian. Adventure. Pirates!!!

5 stars. Even more if there had been more Miranda.😍

My initial enthusiastic endorsement should be tempered with a caveat--while this book does indeed have all the elements of a good swashbuckling pirate yarn--it is also set in an incredibly bleak dystopian future. (Sadly, a future that feels disturbingly like what we're headed for) . This isn't the usual romanticized pirate tale that we've previously seen depicted in lesfic. Its version o
K. Aten
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Solid 5.0 stars – I am literally left speechless with how much I loved this book.

Okay, let me start by saying I love a good sci-fi adventure, and a well written dystopian novel will make my blood sing. When I finished reading Compass Rose by Anna Burke, my blood fairly screamed and I knew coming down would guarantee me a book hangover. While first person tales aren’t my preferred viewpoint, this book was the absolute exception. Compass Rose isn’t a love story, though there is love. It’s not a p
Della B
Jan 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Compass Rose has definitely lived up to all the accolades from reviewers. It is action packed while at the heart of the novel is a slow burn romance. Pirates, mercenaries and stodgy command fleets all vie for power in this epic story. As well, it is a cautionary tale about our world if we allow climate change to progress to its most disastrous end.
Anna Burke’s debut novel is an enticing read from front to back. Rose and Miranda are robust main characters while Kraken and Orca display Burke’s abi
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An exciting pirate story set in the future.

What was not to like about this? If you are looking for robust storytelling and world building, then this is the book for you. Extra points for lots of strong women characters.

This story is about a woman named Compass Rose, who was born with the gift of direction. The book starts off with her going about her days on the North Star until her Admiral assigns her to leave on a secret mission to navigate for a mercenary captain named Miranda.

I loved the
Second read: July 2021
Still just the most amazing book! Even though I knew what was coming, I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to reading Sea Wolf.

Original review: June 2020
What a fantastic read! This is a solid 5 stars for me, I loved it. It’s dystopian, has pirates, adventure, hot pursuits and romance, what more do you want? I was immediately sucked into this story and could not put it down and I will have a serious book hangover.

The story is written in the first person from the POV of Co
Compass Rose by Anna Burke is now the third book I’ve read by this author, though this is actually her debut novel. I can also tell you that with each book, I have been blown away at the enormous talent of Ms. Burke.

We see this story through the eyes of a young woman named Compass Rose who has the unique ability to know where the cardinal points are naturally without instruments to help her. This ability makes her very valuable as a navigator since most of mankind now lives in and around the oce
Bárbara Sousa
Dec 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I’m honestly speechless. I mean, I read the reviews and they were all great and so I had high expectations and all, but wow! This book surpassed all my expectations, I’m super shook right now. Just wow. This was so so so good! The whole plot, just wow! Can this be turned into a movie, please and thank you. This right here deserves all the awards there are in the world for literature. So so good. I’m so gonna pull an all-nighter and start book 2 right now 🤩
Netgyrl (Laura)
5 Stars - awesome scifi future earth post climate apocalypse wlw action adventure

I really enjoyed this book. The story and writing captured me right away. Compass Rose is a great character to see this world through. She is not perfect but she tries really hard and most of the time gets it right. She has an interesting "power" that lets her sense ocean currents and changes and allows her to always know where she is: up, down, north, east, south, west. When you whole life is spent on the water, th
Anna Burke has created a real gem with Compass Rose, one that fans of sci fi, and specifically climate fiction, should not miss. That this is Burke’s first book is also kind of incredible, because her talent is evident on every page. This is one author to watch, since she’s sure to delight us with more weird and wonderful stories for years to come.

Full review: https://www.lambdaliterary.org/review...
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Compass Rose born with an ability to navigate the waters thru sheer internal vision is sent on a one way mission that only she and her Admiral are privy to. Handed over to unsavory mercenaries and given the task of spying on the Pirate Queen, Ching Shih, Rose is on a path to change everything including her own world and that of the notorious Captain Stillwater.

Please be young at heart and spirit when reading this book. Not that it’s juvenile but it’s so much fun and the characters are such over
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
i've been saying this for years: ALL THE PIRATES WERE GAY ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So I'm admittedly about three years late to the party reading this. Especially considering how much I've LOVED everything else I've read by Burke, from her contemporary romances Spindrift and Night Tide, and her fairytale reimaginings Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood and Thorn. All were 4.5 or 5 star reads to me. I hesitated with this book because Sci-Fi isn't always my favorite genre. I do love alternate worlds and scenarios, but if too much information or too many characters come at me ...more
Allison Hurd
So, let me level set. I have been absolutely addicted to "Our Flag Means Death" and when I found a book that was like "queer ship romance plus clifi plus magical directional sense" I was sold. Unfortunately, all of that is basically window dressing for the least romantic erotica ever written.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)

Things that weren't the worst:

-The world. I liked this
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, 2019
[2021] ; It's still as brilliant as the first time I read it.

[2019] ; I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book ‘cause I couldn’t put it down. I love the dystopian/speculative genre and this book does not disappoint... in fact, my expectations were exceeded. The the story itself flowed so nicely and the characters were so well written I felt like I’d met a crew of people I’d cut up my palm to show my loyalty to without any hesitation.
Gaby LezReviewBooks
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read sci-fi and even less pirates' stories but this year I decided to read a few books that throw me out of my comfort zone. I'm glad I've chosen this one. Anna Burke is a new promising author and 'Compass Rose' is her debut book. For this novel she received the Golden Crown Literary Society's Sandra Moran scholarship, created to mentor young writers like Ms. Burke.

'Compass Rose' is set in a dystopian world in 2513 in which the sea levels on Earth have risen and land is either flooded o
Landice (Manic Femme)
Compass Rose is one of my all time favorite books, so I'm thrilled to be rereading it in audiobook form to prepare for the upcoming sequel, Sea Wolf!

Update: This was just as excellent the second time! I very rarely reread books - I could probably count the number of books I’ve read more than once on one hand - but Compass Rose is such an all time favorite that I can see myself reading it a third time at some point. If you haven’t read it yet, I cannot recommend it enough!

ALC Note: Thank you to B
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. I was absolutely smitten with this book! It was so refreshingly new and unique. I cannot possibly do a review justice after reading the other amazing ones, so I will keep it short. This author can write so well. She creates worlds that are simply mind-blowing, and her characters in this one, both the mains and the secondaries, are all so very intriguing. I'm clapping right now, well, one-handed, as the other is holding a glass of rose (get it? Compass Rose....rose wine....yeah.)

I did
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book needs to be turned into a movie! I love the spark between Rose and Miranda. Wish to have seen more of it!
Oct 13, 2022 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-club-read
This was frustrating. The concept was great, a drowned earth where the land is mostly poisoned, the water surface is frequently poisoned and everyone needs to live in ship/submersibles and floating stations. The floating masses of sargasso robbing the ocean of oxygen actually came up in one of my news feeds while reading the book, the prevalance of squid is also a prediction of degrading oceans.

The problem/frustration is that the delivery of the concept was terrible (read writing). Nothing was e
I totally plowed through this in almost a single setting. Pirates!!! Sapphic pirates!! Sci-fi abt climate change!! Political intrigue!! Complex mother:daughter shit!! Crew/team bonding!! I need to read the sequel now.

This made me feel almost like the vibe of the abyss surrounds us and I’m thrilled abt it. Very excited to see more of Rose and Miranda’s relationship develop further in the next one.
Rep: lesbian mcs

i have never been more ROBBED of a potential hate to love than in this book rip my orca/rose dreams :(
Velvet Lounger
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first novel by Anna Burke, and what a great start. Set in 2513 this dystopian fantasy, in the lesbian pirate sub-genre, was hard to put down. Imagine a world where the ice has melted, all that’s left are Archipelagos of land, food is scarce, medicines more so, fuel is made from sludge, the seas are polluted and in some places the air is worse.

Introduce the young fleet navigator, Compass Ross, born facing north and always aware of her direction, she has an uncanny, almost psychic ability to t
Pam Holzner
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, scribd
Great sexual tension. 2nd half is more adventure than romance. Satisfying end.
DNFed at 60%. The characters just do not hold up my interest anymore though I really enjoyed the setting, any underwater or naval SFF action scenes are appreciated.
Colleen Corgel
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was very, very good! I thought that there were some hiccups with some of the smaller character elements, but I loved the world building. If you are here for a sci-fi adventure on the water, then you've come to the right book. It has some dystopian elements to it - especially with how society treats the drifters- groups of people who do not live on the large submersible colonies beneath the ocean waves. But beyond that, it feels more like a futuristic darker swashbuckler than anything else. ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a complex and interesting story with unique and fascinating characters. There was a lot going on, and I'm going to be rereading it.

I am not usually a fan of dystopian stories, but this one was more a political intrigue, action and adventure. Also, while there are pirates, that's not really where the focus is. It's more of a military and political campaign.

Yesterday afternoon I started reading this. I’ve had it I don’t know how long and for whatever reason I just didn’t read it, until yesterday. I went to bed at 4:30 am because I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t do anything but read and I want to re read it.
“You’re a compass, and I’m a captain. Forgive me for wanting to keep my tools close at hand.”

There are several quotes in this book that I'm wholeheartedly obsessed with. I'm a real sucker for a romance where characters feel a really strong, compelling attraction, that perhaps isn't the best thing for either of them; romances where they have to work close together in pursuit of a goal; romances where trust isn't easily earned, but they're drawn together even so. There was all that, and then some
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Anna Burke enjoys all things nautical and generally prefers animals to people. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found walking in the woods with her dogs or drinking too much tea, which she prefers hot and strong—just like her protagonists.

She lives in Massachusetts with her wife, dogs, and too many houseplants. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she now

Other books in the series

Compass Rose (2 books)
  • Sea Wolf (Compass Rose, #2)

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