ARC provided by Penguin/Razorbill in exchange for an honest review
Series: Seafire, #1
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Genre: YA fantasy
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
My rating: ★★★★
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?
Once I heard about a book with an entire female pirate crew, I was immediately intrigued. And it totally surprised me — in a good way! Seafire was filled with such a good mix of action, sisterhood, and lovable characters. I really can’t wait to see where this series goes!
Seafire truly opens with a bang. I won’t get into the details but it was the perfect way to set the story in motion. Caledonia Styx is left to deal with the aftermath and, four years later, she leads a crew of 53 women who are all trying to survive life on the seas. The ocean is ruled by Aric Athair, a ruthless captain who commands a crew called Bullets. He rules so many fleets and ports that it’s almost impossible for Caledonia and her crew to sail under the radar — especially when there’s a bounty on her head.
Then the unthinkable happens: A Bullet saves Pisces, Caledonia’s second-in-command, and Caledonia has to face the choice of keeping her crew safe or show compassion in keeping the Bullet alive. Oh, and he has valuable information that changes the course of Caledonia’s life.
I could go on about the action scenes (because they were so damn fun!) but what stood out to me the most were the strong bonds of sisterhood and family. I was living for the friendships and how everyone had each other’s backs. I felt everyone’s pain, heartbreak, and love. I also want to take Hime and forever put her in my pocket. She was by far my favorite character, and I was loving how everyone learned sign language so they could communicate with her!
And I can’t forget to acknowledge all the nautical speak! I don’t know squat about sailing but I 100% appreciate the author’s research and how much that impacted the story for me. It really made me feel like I was there in the middle of the ship.
One thing that I will mention is that this book doesn’t have a romance-focused plot, which I was totally fine with. There is a tiny bit of romance between a certain man and woman, but it wasn’t my favorite and I felt it was a bit forced. Maybe it’ll be better fleshed out in the sequel?
I think Seafire is such a great first book in a series and sets up the rest of the series perfectly. I really hope the sequel will be longer because I just know there’s SO much left that needs to be explored, and so many more characters we need to meet. I truly recommend this book and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did! ❤