Pacifica is pretty much the best pirate and dystopian book I’ve read!
I don’t even know what to excitedly shout about first, okay?! I absolutely adored this one. I actually didn’t realise it was dystopian (because I don’t even know where my brain is; if you see it, let me know) so then I was worried I wouldn’t like it because I’ve been anti-dystopian for ages. But this? THIS WAS PERFECT.
My emotions are all —> !!!!!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
- badass epic conniving pirates
- one of the best most wholesome friendships ever
- shipping (relationships) on shipping (sea)
- a dystopian with influences from the Japanese internment camps in WWII
- PAIN AND BEAUTY
+ It’s an extremely personal story for the author, and the love just shows on every page! It’s very much #OwnVoices and author has a note in the front (you can catch her twitter thread on it here) on how she based it on what her grandmother went through in WWII, losing everything after being imprisoned in a Japanese interment camp. Reading about Kristen Simmons’ grandmother’s life and refusal to give up and just general epicness was so amazing. I’m really grateful she wrote this book. Just the emotion and power?!? It’s so important!
+ The friendships stole the show for me. 10/10. AGH I LOVE IT. It’s all characters first in this book, which made me so invested so fast. They were complex and dimensional and were equal parts pushed by the story and pushers of the story. Hold onto your sailing hats while I gush:
- ROSS: He’s the president’s son and privileged and clueless to what is REALLY happening in their wreck of a world. But he’s like so sweet. He is SO PURE and he is so loyal and loving towards his best friend, Adam. Basically Ross is amazing.
- ADAM: He’s the vice-president’s son and used to be one of the very poor and discriminated against “lower” people. But his family has risen up and is in a place of power, buuut he still gets discriminated against. He’s very neat and pleasant, but totally knows how bad the world is. I LOVE ADAM. I love his and Ross’ unsinkable friendship.
- MARIN: She is the epic pirate oF ALL OUR DREAMS. (Basically if Lila Bard x Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic had a daughter; it would be Marin.) She’s conniving and tricky, but her absolute dream is to just be loved and have a family. SHE’S SO BADASS BUT SWEET. The combination stole my heart. Also she built her own boat and has a secretly dark pirate past…I freaking adore Marin.
+ Plus it’s just nice to have a book about friendship! Obviously there still is romance (hello this is YA) and Ross and Marin are the cutest shippy ship as well. But Ross/Adam were so pure and wholesome. (The only negative is that whenever people insinuated that Ross had romantic feelings for Adam, he reacted with disgust. Part of me hates the erasure of friendship too, so I get it! But it’s so so unnecessary to be disgusted at queerness…c’mon.)
+ The world building was the light of my lighthouse heart. How on earth is this book so good at everything? We don’t know. We just accept and revere. But complex world? ✓ Complex characters?✓✓ Amazing plot? ✓✓✓ It’s a frikkin’ standalone and DOES IT ALL. The world it’s set in is basically where everything is trash and falling apart and gross. The rich in power are trying to send the poor people off to this “utopia island” but…does it even exist? Marin says no. The president says yes. EVERYONE MIGHT DIE WHO CAN TELL. I could totally see the whole world, with the islands of trash, and the broken down slums, and the contrasted virtual palace of the rich. Incredible.
+ The plot was full of twists and fights and riots and running. There was even a shocking plot twist that had me whispering, “MARIN. YOU DIDN’T TELL US AHHHH.” Pacing = amazing. It it was so compelling, with the riots and kidnappings, the boating and eating radioactive fish (that seems…bad for you but teenagers…what can you do) and the vicious pirates and violence.
+ Did I mention the prospect of you sailing into a horizon full of feelings? That will happen. I had at least nine and that’s madness for me because I only have three emotions usually.
Pacifica is a pirate dystopian tale of trash and beauty and friendship and it will absolutely take over your heart. The characters are precious and the storyline is enthralling. A+ FOR IT ALL. I LOVE IT.
THANK YOU TO TOR TEEN FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. Pacifica by Kristen Simmons was published 6th of March 2018.
Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she’s meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council’s favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.
Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president’s son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam’s safe return.
When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.