Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: pirates-and-privateers
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2013-12-02 00:53
Loved it, my first from MJP
The Bartered Bride - Mary Jo Putney

Opening Line: “The stones of the tower radiated anguish and despair.”

I’m a little surprised at the bad to mediocre reviews for The Bartered Bride because I absolutely loved it, getting completely drawn into the sweeping adventure. Although in saying that I’m brand new to author Mary Jo Putney and don’t generally read a lot of historical romances so I can’t make any real comparisons either. What I can say is that I couldn’t put this book down; I loved MJP’s style of writing, the depth of her characters, the original story ideas, the suspense, the exotic locations and the absence of any TSTL moments.

This was a couple that actually talked to each other, so that the conflict here wasn’t based on silly secrets or misunderstandings. Gavin and Alex are both adults carrying scars and they dealt with things sensibly. (i.e. they don’t jump each others bones and fall in love within a matter of days) They get to know each other, they disagree, and they have issues that need time and patience to work through.

And speaking of patience what a superb hero we get in in Gavin, he’s just, well… such a nice guy. I fell a little bit in love with him even though I prefer my heroes more on the alpha side. And without going into detail I also have to give credit to the research into the time, it felt very authentic. I even learned me a thing or two.

Alexandra Warren and her young daughter are returning from Australia after the death of her husband when their ship is attacked by pirates. Captured, separated and sold into slavery its going to be 6 months before Alex gets her first glimpse at rescue in that of Captain Elliot.

American shipping merchant Gavin Elliot has built a fortune in the Far East but his adventures are coming to en end. En route to England he has one last anchor drop before he starts a new life. Whilst being shown around the (make believe) Indonesian island of Maduri by the ruling Sultan, Gavin is appalled to see a European woman being auctioned off in a slave market. Before he can buy her freedom the sultan acquires the woman for himself, (to use against Gavin as a means of blackmail and to acquire his shipping fleet.) The Sultan then offers a wager; if Gavin can beat him in “the lion’s game” -a series of tests decided on by the role of the dice, the woman is his; if Gavin loses he gives up his fleet and ten years of his life in servitude.

The first half of this book is just awesome, I never knew what contest the role of the dice would bring next, I definitely didn’t expect “worshipping the goddess” however. And while this enters into bodice ripper territory its handled here with… can I get away with sensitivity? Yeah it’s still rape no matter how you look at it but remember Gavin is a nice guy and kinda forced into it.

Okay anyways, the second half of the book takes place in England and while very different its no less enthralling. We have a marriage of convenience, two strangers getting to know and trust each other, a forced lordship, a kidnapping, some surprising sex scenes and charges of murder.

While others have complained about the predictability of the plot here it didn’t bother me. Yeah the villains were a bit cartoonish but I found it clever how the story opens with Gavin awaiting trial in the tower of London and then makes its way back to how he got there (big surprise who he “murdered”) Towards the end of the story I had forgotten all about his fate and was then on absolute pins as he walks to the hangman’s noose, assured of certain death. His inner thoughts here were real and heart wrenching. I’m just so happy to have found a new author with such a huge backlist for me to discover. Adventure and romance await. Cheers.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2013-10-29 23:53
Supurb world building
Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi

Opening Line: “Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.”

Wow what a world Paolo Bacigalupi has created here with Ship Breaker. I won’t say this is the best dystopian book I’ve read but it’s definitely up there as the freakiest in terms of a plausible or even inevitable future -should global warming cripple the earth, the ice caps melt and all of our natural resources disappear.

Initially I’d been drawn to this book because it reminded me of a documentary I’d seen about families in India who lived and worked on the beach, eking out a living by breaking down oil tankers for parts (which is the exact scenario here) The extreme poverty, danger, expendability and daily fight for survival stuck with me and I suppose that’s why for several chapters here I assumed this took place in a third world country, it does but that country is now on the US Gulf coast. For me this is where Ship Breaker shines; the world building here is simply awesome. 
Anyways this was a great read, well written, unique and action filled. There are morality choices (love books that make me think, what would I do?) some romance (a hint of) pirates, hurricanes, knife fights, train chases, treasure hunting and a drug addicted antagonist who also just happens to be the hero’s father. Yeah he was a very bad man.  Come to think of it there is quite a bit of violence in this story.

I also enjoyed the distinctions presented here in class discrepancy and fell in love with a character named Tool (a DNA altered or manufactured half man/dog/tiger who could really do with his own book. I struggled a bit with the weird names (reminding me of THE HUNGER GAMES in their anonymity) Pima, Bapi, Sloth, Tick-Tock. And lastly I just need to mention a scene that will haunt me for a long time –when our hero gets lost and stuck deep within the bowls of the tanker, its pitch dark and he’s fallen into an oil reservoir.This made me frantic, claustrophobic, terrified and a real fan of Bacigalupi.

Nailer works the “light crew” scavenging through the wrecks of ancient oil tankers that now litter the coast. His job is to crawl deep inside these iron beasts and strip them of their copper wire, turning it over to his violent crew boss. It’s very important the Nailer make quota as there are many other kids starving in the shanty town who would kill for his job. It’s a brutal existence but all he knows. The other problem that is fast approaching is that Nailer is quite simply getting too big for his work, struggling to fit into the rusty pipelines. And then what? With no way of earing his keep and only so many viable organs to sell how will he live?

As luck would have it a “city killer” hurricane strikes the coast and in its aftermath Nailer and his friend Pima stumble upon the wreck of a luxurious clipper ship. Smashed against the rocks the ship is filled with more valuables then either of them could dream about in a lifetime. Nailer has hit the “lucky strike” now if he can find a way to claim and cash in the bounty before the other scavengers discover them. He hadn’t counted on any survivors amidst the wreckage however and now he’s faced with the choice of killing this half drowned “swank” girl or saving her in the hopes that her wealthy family will reward him. Cheers
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?