Friday, August 10, 2018

Let's Talk: "Seafire" by Natalie C. Parker

Title: Seafire
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Series: "Seafire" #1
Genre: YA Nautical Fantasy
Page Length: 384 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Date Started: August 1, 2018
Date Finished: August 2, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars 

*I was sent a free e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and spoiler-free. *

Wow. That's all I can really say at the end of this book. It wow'ed me. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I mean, I expected to like it, but I didn't think that I would love it like I did. It was a very fun and excellent ride.

I started reading this at about 10 at night, just intending to get a few pages in before I went to bed. I ended up reading about a fourth of it and absolutely loving it. Then, between my breaks at work and the time I had when I got home, I finished it off the next day. It was binge-worthy and kept my attention the entire book.

I loved these characters, this story, and the world. I thought that everything was well-planned out and all the strings were connected, yet it wasn't too complex and overwhelming. I never knew for sure what was going to happen and while it terrified me, I also loved that aspect of the book.

The thing about this book is that the characters really make it a game changer. This book is primarily about a group of female characters, with only a handful of men in the entire story. I loved that. It was awesome to see an all-girl crew that knew how to fight and be strong without men. In fact, one of the rules on the ship is that no males are allowed. I just loved how feminist and badass they all were.

Not only were these female characters badass, but they were all diverse and had their own way of bringing something new to the table. We had amazing representation in this book with POC characters, deaf/disabled characters, LGBTQ+ characters, characters who struggled with addiction, and more. I think that was just awesome because not only does it let people who fall into those categories have a character or two that they can identify with, but it also shows that just because someone isn't the textbook definition of strong doesn't mean they can't be a badass in their own way.

There were a lot of character arcs in this book but the one that really stands out is Caledonia, the main character. As we're viewing this story from her POV, it's easier to see her character development than others, but if you were to look at one character at the beginning of the novel and the same character at the end, you'll see the difference.

I personally loved Caledonia's perspective and just her as a character. She's not perfect and I think that's what was awesome. So often in YA novels we're told that a female character is a badass who can do no wrong and they end up always saving the day and making the right decisions and everything goes perfectly as planned. For Cala, that was not the case. She made mistakes, she has doubts and guilt, and nothing seemed to go as planned for her. Yet she always found a way to continue on and figure something out for her and her crew. She's strong, yes, but she's also vulnerable. And seeing her journey from the beginning of the book to the end was awesome.

The world building was just enough for me to not be confused by what was going on but the author didn't overwhelm me with unneeded details. We got what we needed for the plot at the time, and I can only imagine that the world will build even bigger in the next installment. I'm so excited to learn more about the world and different cultures and, more importantly, how the antagonist got to where he is.

I've been dying to read a pirate book for so freaking long. I have a few nautical fantasies on my shelf right now that I'm itching to read too, but it's just a pure stroke of luck that I ended up being sent a review copy of this one. I loved the nautical aspects of this book and I thought that they were really well researched and well-done. I can't wait for more pirates and ships and sea-battles in the next book. This brings me to another thing: I loved the technology. Usually in a lot of fantasies, there's not as much modern technology, but this book had solar energy and batteries and electrical weapons and so much more. Of course, they were named other things, but I loved seeing the technology woven in with everything else.

The plot was excellent. I thought that everything was paced well and there were plenty of high-action scenes mixed in with the more calm ones. Still, everything kept me turning the page and reading as fast as I could because I needed to know what happened. I'm both happy and sad at how this book ended. Some things I wanted to happen, happened. But others didn't happen, or happened in a way I wasn't expecting, or ended in a freaking cliffhanger! *cue me crying because I just want more*

My heart is full, yet also breaking. I can't wait for the sequel and can only hope that I'll get my hands on an arc when they are printed. I'm so grateful that I was given a chance to review it early and I'm so happy that I loved it this much. Seafire has definitely found a home in my favorites.

Thanks for reading!

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