Pirates! Well more like thuggish criminals on water (called “Runners”)…in the future…But yup! Pirates. After receiving this book from the publisher, I wondered if I would get into the story considering the deviation from my usual vampire-related reading but I LOVED it! I did! It was a refreshing change of pace (well, let me re-word that, it was as fast paced as my usual books go), but an interesting change nonetheless.
The story goes like this: The world has been ravaged by Tsunamis and what is left of the United States are scattered islands. Loved ones have been killed in masses, leaving devastation and sadness in it’s wake. Orphaned children struggle to survive and stay safe from deviants. Cities have been wiped out, landmarks changed forever. What’s left of the United States is a lawless nation where survival of the fittest (by any means necessary) becomes the only law.
Goods are few and far between, and what is left behind is quickly being wasted by saltwater. Stores no longer exist, and anything that we once took for granted (like coffee for instance) becomes an incredible luxury and possible trading tool (leftover goods are the new currency). However these goods are also a liability as pirates do their “pirate thing” (you know…pillage, rape and kill) for these very items.
Kathryn O’Malley (aka “Tsunami Blue”) has the ability to predict – you guessed it – Tsunamis. In hiding on a remote tiny island (with her dog “Max”), she broadcasts the “weather” to anyone listening. While some heed her warnings, and head to higher ground, many fear her abilities and believe her to be evil.
The ocean roared in my ears, a frantic tattooed rhythm all too familiar: Danger Blue. Death. Run, run, run. In the end in spite of the tricks the ocean played on me, the death and destruction it brought with the waves, it always warned me. And the ocean was always right.
In danger of being killed by the very people she tries to save, she is in even more danger from the pirates that are searching for her, hoping to use her talents for their own devious purposes. It is well known that being captured by pirates is a sentence of slavery, physical abuse, certain rape and possible death. “Blue” knows this first hand better than most. She was raised by her pirate uncle and lived in that very environment as a child.
One evening, a gorgeous man (Gabriel Black), near death, washes up on her beach (think Mr. December from the umm…exotic dancers “The Thunder Down Under” *blush*). Caring for him all night, she quickly deduces that he is a “Runner” (the very thing she is hiding from). Or is he?
For the first time in years, I felt hope.
And Gabriel Black, the Runner, my captor, my bunk buddy, my sometime savior, my tough guy, and the father of Max, was going to help me keep it.
While at times, he seems to be trying to help her escape from Runners hot on her trail, is it possible that he is working for the “baddest” Runner of them all?
The constant danger from pirates is prevalent throughout the story. It also highlights the destruction of societal “norms” after disaster, and the constant fight for survival while some humans try to put their life back together again, creating a safe haven of their own.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. It is a sweetly written romantic paranormal tale, that takes us on dangerous adventures, escapes and infiltrations, but also allows us to partake in sweet friendships as strangers band together and become family.
Two things I found slightly vexing (but not enough to keep me from enjoying the book). “Blue” constantly seems to run hot and cold when it comes to Gabriel. She’s a bad-ass, and feels the need to emphasize it regularly. Actually, some of these moments were quite funny, so there is that 😉
Here’s a funnier instance of her antagonizing self:
Adorable? I’d been called a lot of things in my life, but I was pretty sure that adorable had never been one of them. What was happening to my tough-girl image? When I got my knife back, I’d have to kick his ass again.
While her constant resistance of Gabriel helps keep the sexual tension and slight angst going throughout the novel, on occasion her “issues” would arise at inappropriate moments.
Also, while their connection was believable, I would have preferred more detail in their intimate moments. Wait Wait! I didn’t mean it like *that* – well okay, that would have been a plus too…tee-hee!! I meant their personal quiet time together while they seemed to connect on an emotional level. We know it’s happening, and on occasion, we get to experience little spurts of affection and sweetness, but not the kind of “stirring depth” that makes me sigh as if I’m actually experiencing the connection myself.
On occasion, I felt disconnected during their “moments”. Something always seems to divert their attention (or my attention). Perhaps had their been more “downtime” between the two…but I guess, how could there be, considering her life was in constant danger? And most importantly…is this whole “romantic Gabriel” side just a ploy to gain her trust?
Here is an example of a part that was extremely touching (if only there were lengthier moments like this, but again, while the emotional reaches an interesting depth, “Blue” pulls back):
He placed my hand on his chest. I felt his heartbeat, a beat I’d worked so hard to bring back to life. I wondered again, and not for the first time, whether, knowing what I did now, if I had to do it over, could I let him die? I didn’t want to know. Not really. I didn’t want to know that all my humanity may have slipped away that night.
“This belongs to you now.” Gabriel whispered.
“What?” I whispered back.
“My heart. You saved it. You saved me.”
I looked at him and pulled my hand from his. Not in anger, not in haste. I just couldn’t bear to touch him, this dark angel of mine, not knowing if he was my savior in the midst of all this evil or the root of the evil itself
Ok, so I’ll admit, re-reading that part, I get why she doesn’t let go completely…I do.
All in all, a great book! In fact, I *did* get attached to the characters (“Blue” is quite funny! I loved her wit – she made me laugh out loud many times).
He could sure play the tough guy. But I thought I’d seen a glimpse of the real Gabriel Black, and maybe, just maybe it was time I listened to what he had to say. If I didn’t like it, I could still throw him overboard.
I even mourned them slightly when I finished the book. While they’re bad-asses themselves, they are a likeable bunch (faults and all), and you’ll love where the story takes you! I hope this will be turned into a series (*hint hint*).
I have 24 sets to give away! Just leave a comment below (please make sure it’s relevant to the book), and I will send a set to the first 24 visitors that leave a comment (again – relevant to the book or my review – and if you have read the book, what was your favorite part?). Don’t post you mailing address in the comments section (just send me that by clicking on “contact me”). Since I’m covering the cost of the stamp, this is valid to the continental United States only.