Review: Stormbreak - Natalie C. Parker
In this epic conclusion to the Seafire trilogy, which Booklist called "Mad Max by way of Davy Jones," Caledonia Styx will risk everything--her heart, her crew, and even her life--to defeat Lir and take back the Bullet Seas once and for all.
Aric Athair is dead. But the fight for the Bullet Seas is far from over. Caledonia's nemesis, Lir--the one responsible for getting her parents killed and for turning her brother into a Bullet--has seized control of the warlord's army.
Caledonia and her crew have fled to Cloudbreak to prepare for an all-out war. And they are not the only ones. Defecting soldiers begin to show up in droves to join their fight. But just as it seems like the tides might be turning, a surprise attack decimates the growing rebellion.
Desperate, with much of her crew missing or worse, Caledonia is forced to make an unlikely and unsteady alliance with a new enemy. It's a gamble that could cost her everything, but with the fate of the seas in her hands, Caledonia will do whatever it takes. War has come, and it's time to sink or swim.
Content warnings: This book contains explicit mentions of violence, drug use/withdrawal, and child kidnapping.
"We can't save the world by killing it first."
This was an amazing conclusion to the Seafire trilogy. From the first pages, there was action and adventure at every turn, and it was easy to get into and stay interested in. Caledonia still struggles with trusting her crew and telling them what the heck she's planning, but it was less annoying in this book than in the others. I don't like seeing her disagree and fight with Pisces, but it's a realistic "sister" relationship and I appreciate that.
Cala's relationship with Oren was a nice side plot. It added to the events nicely but never felt like it was either the main plot or like it was pulling attention away from the main plot. I enjoy romance books, don't get me wrong, but I loved that this was an action-first-romance-later book. Sometimes you just need some ocean battles and not smoochy smoochy.
Speaking of other side smoochy smoochy though, I am so freaking excited about the other relationships we got to see develop. Amina and Hime are finally ackoledged as explicitly being in a F/F relationship, rather than just subtext in the first books. I LOVE IT. It's such a natural relationship and you really feel it. Pine and Sledge. My babies. My Blades. I love seeing their relationship get defined and grow as well. Also Pine seems to be bisexual (again, not explicit, just based on subtext) and I love that too. We don't see a lot of male bisexual characters and I AM HERE FOR THIS REPRESENTATION.
It was interesting to see more of the technology in this world too. Both a kind of colonial setting but with advanced technology intertwined was such an interesting concept to explore. It was also super intriguing to see more of Nettle's contributions to the crew. I kept forgetting how young she was just because of how smart she is and how much she contributes to the crew.
The battle scenes are SO well written. Usually I just skim over them in other books, but these just felt so realistic and were described so well that they were actually engaging and I wanted to read every word of them. Their details were specific and intricate, but it never felt like we were being pulled away from the action for the sole purpose of describing things in enough detail. It was just really well done.
The ending was slightly predictable, yet I loved it all the same. It was well executed and still gave me little heart flutters of anxiety as it played out.
Overall, I love this series so much! If you like pirates, action, invention, and friendship, this is the series for you.
Have you read this series? What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!