There’s something about a sea voyage that I’ve always been drawn to. Luckily for me, the publishing world has delivered quite a few excellent YA sea reads in the last few years!
Seafire by Natalie Parker
Caledonia sails the sea, commanding her crew of women and girls whose families and homes were taken by a warlord. The warlord Aric Athair is all that is evil, using drugs to control his fleet of Bullets. Years ago he killed everyone in Caledonia’s family. Now she sails to defeat Aric’s fleet. Her journey is full of deadly seas and dangerous obstacles.
To make matters more difficult, Caledonia finds that her best shot at taking down Aric is a Bullet. Their journey includes tested friendships, perilous seas and maybe even trusting everything to the enemy.
Natalie Parker has created a beautiful gritty world with Seafire. Each page is full of adventure and every character is full of depth and purpose, creating an attachment between the reader and the characters. The friendships and pure girl-power-ness in this book were infectious. The way the women rely on one another and trust each other to do their job and keep each other alive was one of the best parts of Seafire.
Natalie Parker is an incredible author and a wonderful addition to the list of amazing Kansas authors.
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
You probably think you know the story of the sea witch from The Little Mermaid, but Sarah Henning takes that story and turns it on its head. Through a series of flashbacks, readers learn about Evie. Evie lives in a town where mermaids steal loved ones and everyone’s livelihood depends on the sea. The story continues at a leisurely pace revolving around Evie’s love interests and includes a lot of maritime history.
The story is as much about social class and friendships as it is about witches and mermaids. Evie is of a lower class than her two best friends, Anna and Nik. She also happens to have magic, which is a burning offense. When Anna drowns, Evie spirals into unhappiness for years.
Years later she sees a young woman who looks just like her best friend. Evie is set on a course of trying to figure out who this woman is and, if it is Anna, how she can make amends. As Evie strives to help this new friend, she begins to discover more about her powers. But her new friend might have secrets and Evie might not be savvy enough to protect herself from the bargains she is making.
Sea Witch ties together the story of The Little Mermaid with Dutch lore to create an enthralling story. A stellar book by yet another Kansas author!
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Alosa is a young pirate captain in search of an ancient hidden map that leads to a legendary treasure trove. She needs to search an enemy ship to retrieve it. What’s the best way to search an enemy ship? As a captive of course! Most of the crew aren’t a match for Alosa but the clever, and quite attractive, first mate might be more of a problem than Alosa anticipated.
This book is light and humorous, but Alosa is still brutal and ruthless. She’s definitely not a sugar coated heroine and has no problem killing and getting her hands dirty to get what she needs. As the daughter of the Pirate King, that really shouldn’t be surprising but it’s not something you see much in YA literature.
Daughter of the Pirate King is a good, shortish read that satisfies all of my sea faring, adventure read needs!