Someone described this as "basically every gay pirate AU ever". So of course, I've been dying to read this series forever x) But it took awhile for my paperback copy to come. Now I have to wait some more for the second and third books. Sigh.
I love pirates. One of my favorite series through middle school, high school, and still continuing now, is the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. About a girl who disguises herself as a ship boy and eventually roams the seas as the infamous pirate queen.
So I was really super excited to stumble upon this series, and even more that it was listed under MM romance. It's like someone heard my prayers lol.
This book was addicting. I was sneak-reading it between my study breaks. Some will probably find the beginning set up slow, but I never ever found myself bored throughout the entire book. The writing isn't even particularly astounding or anything, there are some editing errors. But I still loved it, flaws and all, and it was just everything together that held me captivated. I loved the world-building, which yeah, just maybeeee stretches beliefs a little, I mean, pirates who mate together for life? And it did get slightly over the top at the end. But well, that's what made it even more fun for me x)
I liked how the issue of mental illness was developed and handled with some care in the main characters. I loved their very intricate and complex relationship with each other, the runaway nobleman Will and the literally mad Gaston. I liked their philosophical discussions together and their one step forward, two step backs relationship dynamic. And I loved that I loved all of the side characters (well, except for Bradley) who all had their own colorful and unique personalities, especially Pete and Striker.
I think objectively speaking, this book deserves at best 3.5 stars. Because of the slow set-up, the small editing errors, and the sometimes over-the-topness you just have to embrace (which I very happily did) when you have a story about openly gay pirates gallivanting around this time period and occasionally declaring their love for one another.
But for me, it all just worked! I was thoroughly immersed, entertained, addicted. x) So, 4 stars for pure enjoyment and guilty pleasure factor. I don't know if I can wait another few weeks for the next book to arrive.