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The Ship of Shadows

(The Ship of Shadows #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  180 reviews

Aleja whiles away her days in her family's dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she's only ever read about in books. After all, she's always being told that girls can't be explorers.

But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of

Paperback, 324 pages
Published July 16th 2020 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  418 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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C.G. Drews
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was such a pleasure to be swooped into this high seas pirate adventure with an all-girl crew of travel loving explorers. I admit I had the honour of reading a very early draft and am sitting here happy and proud at how beautiful this book has become. It's the kind of MG I would have been obsessed over as a kid as well: library onboard the ship, characters who always have cake in their pockets, puzzles and riddles to solve, and a heroine who yearns for adventure and grins at the compliment of ...more
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher. This in now way influences my opinion of the book.

*Rated 4.5/5 stars

Despite being a new middle grade book, this book somehow hit me with all the nostalgia. It felt like one of the children's TV adventure shows I used to watch, with kids trying to complete some kind of heist before their time ran out. It was action-packed, full of high stakes and lighthearted banter, and was genuinely just a joy to read.

I loved following this all-female pirate cre
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hear ye! Hear ye! This is the best pirate book I've ever read. Period.

Aleja has always dreamed of being an explorer, so when the fabled Ship of Shadows docks in her home town, she is suddenly whisked away on an adventure across the high seas! Aleja joins an all-female crew aboard the ship, soon finding herself on a quest that will push her to her limits. With lost cities, krakens and cut-throat pirates galore, this middle grade fantasy adventure is PERFECT for fans of Pirates of the Caribbean an
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
3.5 exotic stars

Pirates, ghosts, kraken, and treasures - a sea adventure alluring with thrills, sure to sweep young readers off their seats and into mysterious, exotic lands laced with secrets to explore and captivate.

Aleja has always dreamed of adventure. When she spends time on the rooftops of Seville, Spain looking over the market and out onto the horizon over the ocean, she imagines traveling to far and distant lands, something girls don't ever get to do.

“Poor Aleja, she’d captain a ship
Clara (The Bookworm of Notre-Dame)
The Ship of Shadows was a very sweet middle grade novel about pirates and friendship. I was really glad to get on board on this adventure, with all those amazing girls. I'd really recommend it to anyone! ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ship of Shadows has rekindled my love for Middle-grade books. Honestly, after reading so many young adult and adult fantasy, this is a breath of fresh air. Here we follow thirsty-for-adventure Aleja who is caught between her love for exploration and her family after she finds herself on board of the whispered about “Ship of Shadows”. Accidently finding counterfeit coins which is a punishable crime, the counterfeiters are bend on catching her and making such she doesn’t talk. She is rescued b ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Review copy provided by NetGalley, this review is part of The Write Reads blog tour. My review is unbiased.)
My Blog

The only way to describe this book is fun. Because it is so fun. Aleja has dreamed of being an explorer her whole life, reading every book she can find in her town's library. When she's accused of stealing she finds herself escaping onto a Pirate ship crewed by women, and starts solving a years old mystery.

This had such feminist Pirates Of The Caribbean vibes. There's a magical shi
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-fiction
Ohhhh this line from Ship of Shadows: "She knew in her bones that somewhere, somehow, there had been other girls like her. Girls who yearned so badly, so deeply, for adventure and excitement that it churned inside them. And they had grown up to become *pirates.*"

This MG fantasy adventure is so cozy and magical and full of absolute delight. I loved the e-ARC I got to read, and I've preordered the paperback edition to cherish and re-read with my kids! This book will resonate with every kid or adul
✧ jules ✧
Thank you Netgalley and Puffin a lot for this Arc.

Wow wow wow, this book, this book! I absolutely adored this one. If you're a fan of pirate book, especially pirates of the caribbean, you will enjoy this one a ton!
I was ingrossed in the story since page one, and that feeling didn't stop until the last one.

Aleja always wanted to see the world, all her life she's been told that girls can't do that, she joins an adventure all on her own and well - a fantastic crew of all female pirates that you won
Lili  Marcus
This one really surprised me and it's the kind of book that I know I will reread someday. The characters are amazing. I love Aleja. She's a badass and also relatable. I think most of us have dreamed of adventures like her. The plot is well-crafted. I love every second of the story and was left wanting more when I was done reading. But the best thing about this book is the world-building. The author has created such rich, beautiful fantasy world. There's a vivid picture in my head of this fantasy ...more
unknown pokemon
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is EVERYTHING I love about middle grade books. From the first page I absolutely fell in love with feisty Aleja. A few chapters later I fell in love with Francis and the rest of the crew. The ship is SO unique. The adventure, the magic, the exploring, the atmosphere!! 😱 How could you not fall head over heels for this book?

The Ship of Shadows is the kind of book you would want to place in any child's hands. It's full of adventure and magic, but it's also filled with strong female characters and a reminder that women can fill roles that are traditionally depicted as always male (e.g pirates). Personally I was never interested in the roles signed to women. I didn't want to be a princess or a damsel in distress, I wanted to be a pirate or an astronaut or a knight in shining armour. Books like this are so important to ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
How I read this: Free ebook copy received through NetGalley for a blog tour
3.5 stars

Okay, so what have we got here? Magic, pirate women, in fact – a pirate ship with an all-women crew (well, aside from a ghost and an owl), a brilliant library within said pirate ship, adventure and hidden mysterious treasures!! And a girl who gets told that “girls don’t go on adventures” and “girls can’t do anything”, when it’s painfully clear she will kick everyone’s butt by the end of this book. Okay, maybe by
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thewritereads
“Sometimes friends became family too. The family you chose to have when your lives cosied up against each other’s as if you’d always been there.”

Thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads, Puffin Books, and the author for sending me a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

We’re all readers here, I assume. You know that feeling when you become so engrossed in a book that everything else ceases to exist except the world of the book? That moment when you forsake basic needs like sleep and food becau
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour-arc
You can read my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here.

Many thanks to The Write Reads and Penguin for a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review and for inclusion on this blog tour.

Pirates = Good.

Female pirates = Great.

A whole magic ship full of female pirates = Must read.

Ship of Shadows is a charming, cozy adventure filled with both heart and danger. It’ll transport the reader to far-away countries, across dangerous seas, and all with the comfort of some charming female bon
(Ellie) ReadtoRamble
I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you to the blog tour organiser, author and publisher for letting me take part in this tour, and thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

When I first saw this cover and read the blurb, I knew I needed to read this book. I've been reading a lot of middle grade books lately, and I adore books with pirates, adventures, hidden treasures, etc, so it was sure to be a great
Danni (_forbookssake)
I don’t usually read a lot of middle grade, but when I heard about The Ship of Shadows, there was no way I was turning down that opportunity! I’m a sucker for a good pirate story, and this one sounded too good to miss.

Aleja is an excellent main character, who you really grow to love throughout the book. She is strong, adventurous, and truly a great friend. She isn’t afraid of a little danger, and will put herself in harms way to help those that she cares about. I certainly think we can all relat
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booktails
Aleja has always found it impossible to make friends with the girls her age in their pretty dresses, particularly since everyone found out her secret dream to be an explorer. She's more comfortable climbing walls and running around on rooftops. Sneaking into the library at night when she should be sleeping and reading about all the places she dreams of going one day.

One night she discovers the fabled Ship of Shadows is not only real, but actually docked in her city. Aleja can't believe it when s
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This book is available now.

Well, buckle my swash! Wow, this book is fun! Adventure, piracy, and a fair bit of mystery made this an enjoyable romp full of nonstop excitement. I can tell you with absolute surety that all of the excitement surrounding The Ship of Shadows is well deserved.

Aleja is a wonderful main character. She loves books and adventure, and is incredibly smart. While she wishes she fit in mor
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is stunning. I absolutely loved it and dived headfirst into the magical world of Aleja and the crew of the Ship of Shadows.

The characters are so well written and I love that they are all badass women,especially because they are so well rounded. I particularly relate to Aleja because I too love reading all about adventures and listing after one of my own.

The plot too is well paced and it never felt like it was lagging or moving too quickly. It was just right, like the lore for the mag
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so great! Such a breath of fresh air!

A pirate filled adventure story that spreads across Spain, the ocean, and Morocco. I was invested straight away and loved Aleja as a character. She was so amazing! The ship of shadows was so fascinating and full of magic and wonders. Also, a pirate ship with a library - what could be better?

This was full of great female characters who were so strong and I loved the bonds of friendship between them! So much happened and I really hope there is a
Christine Spoors
I had the best time following Aleja to distant lands with the wonderful all female crew of The Ship of Shadows. I flew through the book and couldn’t put it down, I loved the different settings from Sevilla to Marrakesh. I couldn’t never guess what was going to happen next, the plot was filled with puzzles and unexpected events which kept me hooked. I can’t wait to see where we go adventuring next!

Thank you to Puffin for the early copy and I AM SO PROUD OF MY BEST FRIEND FOR WRITING THIS MAGICAL
Mar 04, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
'Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend.'

Vicky (What Vicky Read)
What an adventure! I absolutely loved The Ship of Shadows and it’s all-girl crew! This was full of adventure and intrigue which I just loved.
Candyce Kirk
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ship of Shadows was everything I was expecting and more! I really think this is such a special story. Everything from the writing to the illustrations at the beginning of each chapters fit together so perfectly. I'm really sad that I'm all done with this story and I would love more in this world.

Aleja loves everything books and has been reading about adventures since she was young. Who would've thought she'd end up being on a magical pirate ship with an all-female crew. I loved seeing this h
Laura Noakes
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't put into words how much I adored adventuring with Aleja. This was everything I want in a middle-grade fantasy--imaginative, full of rich world-building, interesting characters and non-stop adventure. Fast-paced and never predictable, THE SHIP OF SHADOWS is one of my favourite reads of 2020 so far. Utterly, utterly brilliant, and I can't wait to read more of Aleja's story (fingers crossed for a second book ASAP!!) ...more
Maxine Robinson
Such a fun read. Full review to come.

Gorgeous settings, plenty of action and kickass characters, The Ship of Shadows is a wonderful, fun, enchanting read. Whether Aleja is at home in her fathers tavern, exploring a magic ship or riding a camel through the desert, Kuzniar’s rich descriptive writing pulls you into the story and brings this world and time to life. I absolutely loved it all.

Every character was superbly put together, each with their own voice. I loved the clothing descriptions, the o
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ship of Shadows is packed full of vibrant magic, atmospheric adventure, pirates, explorers, hidden cities full of traps and treasure, and some fascinating characters.

I love it!
Resh (The Book Satchel)
I had been postponing reading The Ship of Shadows because I really wanted to read it at leisure. I LOVED it. This is a middle grade fantasy book about pirates, ships with secrets, and much travel.

Aleja finds herself in the infamous ship of shadows. Now this ship is really fantastic. It has libraries (yes!), resident ghosts, secrets, and playful shadows. The ship is headed by Captain Quint who upholds the 'steal from rich' Robin Hood ideals. I also loved the shadowless, badass Malika and loveable
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