I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. It’s not bad, it’s just very… first novel-y. Which is to say that the story has the sense that the author spent a lot of her younger years thinking about it and tries to cram in four different stories. Have you ever written an email and forgotten a word or two but your brain knows the words are supposed to be there, so it just inserts them when you proofread and then you send the email and the person you sent it to is all, “I think I get what you’re saying but there seems to be some missing information?” And you realize you know exactly what you meant because you live in your brain but anyone who doesn’t live in your brain won’t really get it. This book felt like that to me.
Cecelia Bassingthwaite is a nineteen year old lady pirate in training who is waiting for her acceptance into the Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels. The reason I know this is because Cecelia thinks it on occasion, usually when there is a letter for someone else, or a gathering of more than two people and it’s convenient for the plot for Cecelia to be dumb.
Cecelia Bassingthwaite is the sheltered niece of a lady pirate, who would like nothing more than to find a good library and spend the rest of her life reading. Until she meets Ned Lightbourne, a rakish gentleman pirate hired to assassinate her. Or was he? Cecelia must do everything in her power to escape Ned until it’s convenient for the plot for Cecelia to be dumb and not be able to put two and two together.
The more I write about this book, the more annoyed I am by it. Mostly because there were seeds of good stories but they never had room to grow. The author couldn’t seem to land on a tone – the book starts out as with a sort of older YA feel, similar to The Parasol Protectorate or Deadly Society series. None of the characters are consistent and so about three quarters of the way through, it morphs into a full-on bodice ripper. The sex scene is not terrible but it was certainly unexpected, both story-wise and character-wise. The main characters are in the middle of a escape and air battle (oh yeah, the pirates fly houses instead of sailing ships) when all of a sudden, Cecelia, who up until this point could not even refer to her own body with the word body (seriously, it’s a whole thing) is all, this is my only chance to have sex, land this house and we’ll bang one out before anyone can get to the front door. Um, whut? What follows is a fairly detailed sex scene that is tonally very different from anything written up to that point.
The ending is predictable and requires the main character to be epically stupid, along with all of the secondary characters being just as stupid. The rules of this world are equally as inconsistent, which is probably where most of my issues with the story lie. There is apparently a second book in the series but I don’t think I’ll be reading it.