Tuesday, August 28, 2018

ARC Review: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

37822534Title: Seafire
Series: Seafire #1
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Source/Format: First to Read; eARC
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Razorbill; August 28, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?
The synopsis for Seafire by Natalie C. Parker doesn’t reveal much about the book, but I was still interested in it because I was looking to read something by this author. For the most part, I liked this book with a few minor exceptions. There were a lot of interesting ideas here and they were done well. Seafire was a fast paced story brimming with action. There was danger around every corner, and the Mors Navis was commanded by an all-female crew.

If you know anything about Mad Max: Fury Road, then you’ll probably like this book since Seafire was kind of like that movie. There was an almost dystopia feel to the story, because of how the world was described. There were hints of advanced technology—like some of the systems that kept the Mors Navis running—but it was hard to place a time period because some of those things were presented without much context about their origins. And instead of a harsh desert climate, this book takes place on a ship, and the setting was mostly open waters with few exceptions. Despite that, Parker made the story exciting with plenty of action and mostly memorable characters.

Caledonia Styx was fairly interesting. She had a tragic past and was determined to fight back against Aric Athair’s army. But at times, it seemed like she was too consumed by what happened and made decisions that put herself, Mors Navis, and her crew at risk. In the first third of the book, I didn’t mind that as much. However, the middle of the book was where I struggled with reading the story. I mean, for all her talk of trust and family and sisterhood, Caledonia seemed to almost use that to avoid having her actions and decisions questioned. Still, she wasn’t a bad character. As for the supporting characters, I liked how they were characterized. As a crew, they were skilled and worked well together. And it was interesting to see the character development happen while they were experienced harsh circumstances.

I was a little conflicted about the ending. On one hand, there were parts that I really loved. In the last few chapters the story picked up. The pace of the action and the revelations were on point. I liked that a lot. On the other hand, there was this one thing that happened that seemed to throw away some of the character development that Caledonia went through. That being said, it didn’t change how I felt about the rest of the book.

Since Seafire is the first book in a new trilogy, there’s more to the story, and I want to see where it goes. So, I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel....

About the author...

Natalie wears many hats: author, editor, entrepreneur. She is the author of Southern Gothic duology Beware the Wild (a Junior Library Guild Selection) and Behold the Bones (both available from HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Seafire Trilogy (Razorbill, 2018). Her first anthology, Three Sides of a Heart, is an exploration of the love triangle (HarperTeen, 19 Dec 2017). Parker is the founder of Madcap Retreats, an organization offering a yearly calendar of workshops and retreats for aspiring and established writers. Though she earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati, she now lives on the Kansas prairie with her wife...

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Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by First to Read for this review, thank you!

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