Author: Jenna-Lynne Duncan
Release Date: January 9th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Adventure Romance
Source: From the author, Jenna-Lynne Duncan
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Synopsis: An award-winning YA adventure-packed romance steeped in Middle Eastern culture and set in the Asian Pacific amongst dangerous oceans and tropical islands.
Seventeen-year-old refugee Lux plots her escape from the island where her family is stranded, denying that her home was lost in the Floods. Lux is determined to get her old life back by any means possible. But before her feet even leave the sand, she's taken hostage by a vengeance-driven pirate nearly as young as she is.
Her capture is the key to his freedom...
Captain Draven’s scarf veils more than his face. Underneath, he struggles between morality and survival. When Lux sees deeper into his motivations, she’s torn. She can commit mutiny to escape to a home that may no longer exist, or she can try to help Draven escape the clutches of the person responsible for the deaths of half the world. Staying would mean entrusting her life to a pirate. Helping Draven would mean losing her heart to one.
"The essence of all experiences in love is that we don't love when we choose to, and we don't choose to when we love."
While this book was entertaining, it didn't blow me away. It is a thoroughly entertaining story with characters that are interesting, and a simple premise that leaves much room to be explored. I highly recommend if you are looking for a quick and fun read, because that's exactly what you get with this.
By far my favorite part of the story was all of the Arabic incorporated in. It was well done, and while I can't say anything about how good the incorporation of Arabic was, or how accurate the diverse portrayals were, I did myself enjoying it, and I was completely entranced in the story.
A few pros:
The storytelling was simple and easy to follow and it read SO quickly!
The character dynamics were interesting and they held a lot of interesting potential.
Liliou and Ahmed were both very interesting characters and I cannot wait to see them further explored in future installments. I also think that Draven was a character that I grew to appreciate. These characters definitely weren't two dimensional... Lux could be annoying but literally every other character made up for that. I looooved Lilou and wish we had more of her. (maybe somehow in book two?) Ahmed was my favorite character I just wish he had been fleshed out just a little more.
I really enjoyed the romance, even though it was tropey. I thought the first romance took the perfect amount of time to come to fruition. It took almost half the book and I truly appreciated it.
I did feel at times the villain(s) fell a little flat, and didn't have much driving force besides being evil.
Where was the actual pirating? Like, seriously? I really wanted some pirate fighting and some actual pirating, but I didn't really find much of that within this novel. And that's mostly my fault for expecting more than I should have. If more pirating and battles had present I would have loved this novel, instead of just really liking it.
The love triangle was completely unnecessary. It didn't need to be there. It didn't bring much character development. (I mean, a little for Lux... but she still fawned over that boy WAY too quickly.)
Were the naming's of Lux and Draven intentionally referencing League of Legends? Because that's all I could think about for the first 20% of the book... Seriously. It killed me. I laughed a lot because of it.
Overall: I was entertained but not blown away. I think this is an adequate story, with fun themes and potential for an even better sequel, because Duncan's writing is definitely strong. And she can only improve with time. Thoroughly impressed and definitely looking forward to the sequel! definitely worth your time if you are looking for a quick read with some intriguing worldbuilding and some really cool characters (and the romance is pretty fun too)