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Devil's Ballast

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  150 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Anne Bonny was eighteen when she ran away from her violent husband, James, into the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. Now she’s ensconced aboard Jack’s ship Ranger, passing as a cabin boy and playing her ruthless part in a crew that is raining down mayhem and murder on the ships of the Caribbean. But James Bonny is willing to pay to get his ‘property’ back. And p ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Text Publishing (first published May 7th 2019)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Thank you NetGalley and Text Publishing for this book. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

And while all pirates were, of course, an affront to God,
a female pirate was a particular abomination.

Anne Bonny is considered “one of the most famous female pirates of all time”, which in and of itself, would have been scandalous even in that group. While I've heard her name mentioned a couple of times, and seen her featured in TV shows like Black Sails, I didn't kno
Clare Snow
"I wanted the whole ocean to be afraid."

Anne Bonny is the most kick-ass lady pirate I've ever met. So glad Meg Caddy introduced us.

(view spoiler)
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text, bookgasm, loveozya
As the dawn rises, Anne Bonny binds her breasts with bandages, pulls on her britches and prepares for another journey on board the Ranger, a pirate ship bound for the Carribbean. The crew believes Anne is a young man, small, intelligent and arrogant. The ocean doesn't welcome young women and women on board are abused, disgraced and often degraded. After escaping her violent husband, Anne is labelled an adulterer by the lawmakers of Nassau, a bounty offered for her capture by her volatile husband ...more
Nadia King
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I counted fifteen dead men working the deck of the Kingston well, they weren’t dead yet, but the day was young and I had a full belt of shot.”

And so starts Meg Caddy’s second book, ‘Devil’s Ballast’ released by Text Publishing in May, 2019.

‘Devil’s Ballast’ is Caddy’s take on the real-life pirate, Anne Bonny. Bonny, an Irish pirate who wreaked havoc in the Caribbean in the 18th Century, has become something of a legend.

Caddy has woven her magic with what is known of Bonny’s life to provide read
Text Publishing
‘You spend most of the book cheering them on, furiously turning the pages…great for readers of action-filled historical fiction.'
Books + Publishing

‘[A] strong, brine-soaked adventure.’
Wall Street Journal
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and approachable insight into piracy and the exploits of a woman living the pirate life. Bonny is the impulsive, determined, and gritty lead who undergoes adventure, pain, and retribution on a quest for freedom in a world that doesn't seem to want her.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review, as part o the Ideally Inspired Review team. Review can also be found on *Ideally Inspired Reviews*

Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a lot of reasons to like Meg Caddyʼs latest book – Devilʼs Ballast. The adventure, the banter, the page-turning tempo; take your pick. But my own personal number #1 reason can be summed up in three words: Ann Freakinʼ Bonny. This version of the notorious pirate is everything I like in a character, and she couldnʼt be further from a cliché. Sheʼs not the stoic warrior woman or the reluctant hero or the girl next door. She doesnʼt follow the standard arc. Sheʼs uncompromising, flawed, so ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was a genuine delight, akin to uncovering buried treasure on a desert island
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Overall the book was fantastic, but I do wish we could have seen Cornelius the dead shark make a cameo appearance.
Aubree | Literately Speaking
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
In Devil's Ballast, author Meg Caddy explores the life of historical figure and female pirate Anne Bonny, using a modern lens to explore nuances such as abuse, the emotional fallout of dealing with such trauma, and LGBTQ experiences during the time period. Though a bit slow at times, I personally enjoyed the depiction of such an adventurous and anti-stereotypical female, highlighting how an outlier for the time period can be a strong icon for those in contemporary times. By using multiple perspe ...more
Nicki Markus
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-historical
Devil's Ballast was a highly enjoyable read. It was nicely paced, with plenty of action, as well as some good drama and emotion. Anne was an absorbing character and I loved reading of her adventures and her interactions with those around her. The LGBT content was presented in a natural manner, without sensationalising it, and overall this was a delightful read that kept me well entertained over two nights. I recommend Devil's Ballast to YA historical fiction fans and those who enjoy YA stories w ...more
Meg Caddy
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I mean, look, it's pretty good.
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A gripping, fast-paced, high-stakes historical fiction following the true story of Anne Bonny (the most notorious female pirate in history) and her adventures at sea.

In short, I fell in love with this novel.

Lets start with Anne Bonny; bold, quick-witted, resilient, shameless, but never a two-dimensional caricature. She was more than just a badass female protagonist. Meg Caddy dealt subtly, and powerfully, with Bonny's vulnerability - at the hands of her abusive husband, and of the legal and so
Kali Napier
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2019
A perfect book for a rainy, bed-ridden-with-a-head-cold kind of day. While it's hard to separate the sensationalism and romanticism of piracy from the fact that they were murderers and plunderers, it's no use denying that a female badass pirate, who fought for love as much as revenge and stolen ships, makes for an exciting tale. Meg Caddy's version of Anne Bonny's adventures is mainly told from Bonny's POV, with some chapters from the pirate hunter Barnet, who is on the trail of Calico Jack, Bon ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I loved this, it captivated me from the beginning, or rather I should say Anne did. I didn’t know much about Anne Bonny before I read this, I knew bits but that’s it, and obviously being historical fiction it’s not a true account, but as the author says, withered accounts are sketchy and hard to pinpoint what is fact or fiction. Anne is a fabulous character strong, sarcastic, independent and has her history of abuse both physically and mentally. She is such an inspiring woman, ruthless, smart mo ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dreaming
Devil's Ballast is a great fastpaced retelling of Anne Bonny's life. I enjoyed the historical details that show how well this book was researched. Anne is presented as an independent woman who chooses her own path in life. I would have liked to get a more in-depth analysis of her relationship with Calico Jack but I understand that the focus of the book is on her adventures and not on the romantic relationship. As a bonus, Caddy adds some loveable side characters that Anne meets along the way.
I'd never heard of the real Anne Bonny until I picked this up and I'm very glad Meg Caddy brought her to life in this book. Throughout this tale of pirates, revenge, romance, adversity and murder, female pirate Bonny is a force to be reckoned with.
Madalyn (booksandcatsandnaps)
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

3🌟 — Devil’s Ballast follows Anne Bonny, a real life female pirate who left her abusive husband to sail the high seas with her pirate lover Calico Jack. The book opens up with the pirates ready to capture a ship, straight into the action.

“I counted fifteen dead men working the deck of the Kingston. Well, they weren’t dead yet, but the day was young and I had a full belt of shot.”

Anne Bonny is a fierce and flawe
Bronwyn Eley
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Meg Caddy sure knows how to write an adventure. Devil’s Ballast is a rollicking, heartfelt and fun novel based on the true life of Anne Bonny. This is the perfect read for anyone who has ever wanted to up and quit their life and become a pirate!

If you’ve never heard of Anne Bonny… well it’s the perfect reason to pick up a copy of this book! Anne Bonny was a married woman until she met a pirate named Calico Jack. They fell in love, Anne disguised herself as a man, and then ran away with him to li
Dianne Wolfer
Strong female character + pirates + historical fiction = a great read.
Devil's Ballast charts new waters.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, 20-releases
This is a YA historical novel taking place in the Caribbean and following the story of female pirate, Anne Bonny, based on the true story of Anne Bonny. Bonny has run from her abusive husband and found herself on the pirate ship, The Ranger, which is captained by her lover, Calico. Bonny has to disguise herself as the cabin boy but lives a content life causing mayhem on the ship and in the Caribbean. However, the pirate-hunter Captain Barnet has set his sights on The Ranger, with the added
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book to review from Text Publishing and loved every bit of it! I love historical fiction and this book did not let me down. There was betrayal, murder, love, lies and revenge. Don’t let me forget the badass female herself, Anne Bonny. I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of Pirates of the Caribbean. Well done Meg Caddy!!
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Fairbairn
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: loveozya-mg
Devil’s Ballast by Meg Caddy is a fictionalised historical YA tale based on the life of female pirate Anne Bonny, that came out on the 7th of may. The story opens with:
“I counted fifteen dead men working the deck of the Kingston.
Well, they weren’t dead yet, but the day was young and I had a full belt of shot.”

Of yeah, that got me excited for a rip roaring story of pirate-y murder and mayhem.

The book is set at the start of Bonny’s pirating career, when she first runs off to sea and subsequently m
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title Devil’s Ballast

Author Meg Caddy

Description from Amazon

Anne Bonny was 18 when she ran away from her violent husband, into the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack. Now, aboard Jack’s ship, she’s part of a ruthless crew bringing mayhem and murder to the Caribbean. But James Bonny is willing to pay to get his wife back. And pirate-hunter Captain Barnet is open to all offers.

Release Date July 14, 2020

“The world was no place for girls.”

Anne Bonny ran from her father and then she ran from her husband. But now somebody is running after her and she's running out of time. A biological clock is ticking and the notorious Captain Barnet is ticking off pirates in his quest to rid the Caribbean of sin. Anne flees to Havana with child and with turncoat, Martin Read, to wait out her pregnancy but determined to return to Calico Jack's side to rule the seven seas. But time and tide wait for no man and
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher, Text Publishing, at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am ashamed to say that I did not recognize Anne Bonny, the historical GODDESS, until Mary Martin Read was introduced to the story. Seeing their names side by side knocked something loose in me.

For anyone who doesn't know, Anne Bonny and Mary Read were one of the most BAD ASS pirates in the Caribbeans back when pirates were a big thing in the Caribbean Sea. YES, THEY WERE REAL PEO
emilee ☾ ( readwithemilee )
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book basically covers the life of a pirate, Anne, and the pirate captain, Calico ( they are in a romantic relationship. ) In the past, Anne was married to a cruel man, and she and Calico ended up fleeing him in attempts to release Anne from this relationship. Then they get targeted by a pirate hunter, and they have to survive. *surprise surprise* **jazz hands**

The characters. . . were okay I suppose. I really didn't get the depth of Bonny and Calico's relationship. There was no relationshi
Rachel Feeck
A short tale based on the legends of Anne Bonny, featuring pirates and their colorful havens in the Caribbean.

Fleeing an abusive husband, young Anne Bonny joins the crew of Calico Jack, who is charming and caring and keeps the secret of her identity from the crew, even when Bonny’s impulsiveness and big mouth get her into trouble. When a pirate hunter with a personal vendetta is set on their trail, Bonny must decide how much Calico means to her as they are chased across the seas from Havana to
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Meg Caddy is a short, nerdy, bespectacled D&D geek. She spends her days ordering and selling books and moonlights as a housemother and tutor at a boarding school. Meg has an Honours degree in Literature and History, and Not Sleeping Enough. She lives with two rescue cats (Captain and Lieutenant) and an ever-expanding bookshelf. Her first book, Waer, was shortlisted for the 2013 Text Prize and the ...more

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