Steel Tide - Natalie C. Parker
The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord's powerful fleet.
In celebration of the release day of Stormbreak, the final book in the trilogy, I am posting reviews of the first 2 books! Read my review of Seafire here.
Caledonia may have lost her crew, but she's not done fighting yet. After nearly dying at the hand of a powerful foe, Caledonia is pulled from the sea and nursed back to health by a crew of former Bullets that call themselves Blades. The Blades escaped Aric Athair's clutches and now live a nomadic existence, ready to disappear at a moment's notice should trouble come their way.
But Caledonia wants to do more than just hide. She wants to find the Mors Navis and her beloved sisters. She wants to continue fighting Aric's fleet and to take back the Bullet seas. She'll need to do everything in her power to convince the Blades that fighting is their only option, that there has to be a life better than the one under Aric Athair's reign, and that finding the women of the Mors Navis is the first step to revolution.
"When we fight for each other, we win, no matter what."
First, let me just get it out of the way... I do not like the new covers. Don't get me wrong, they are gorgeous. I just much preferred the original cover and that design.
Now, onto the actual content! This has been one of the best sequels I've ever read and I loved this book even more than I loved Seafire.
Amina and Hime...are maybe in a relationship? I definitely would have liked this relationship, and if it is romantic or not, to be more developed, rather than just having to rely on subtext.
Our other characters got more developed and fleshed out and I love all the ladies on the crew so much! This book made me love them even more!
Caledonia even grew on me. She's developed a lot, despite her insecurities, and has come to terms with the fact that her crew love her as a person, not just respect her as their captain. It made her a lot easier to root for than in the first book and she wasn't annoying to me in this one either.
I'm a huge Pisces fan. She stepped up as best she could, but she knows her strengths and her weaknesses and relies on the other girls to cover where she lacks. She's such an amazing supporting character and she pulls Cal out of her own ass a few times. Their friendship is so complex and I loved getting to explore it more in this book.
Again with the "main" romance subplot... it just didn't do a lot for me. I could have taken it or left it. I do like the development of Oren and Caledonia though. Both of the characters are getting more developed, we're learning more about them both and their motivations and I like that. Again, I'm very shocked that I'm thoroughly enjoying this book regardless of the romance.
The plot was strong and well developed. It moved along nicely and never felt like it was dragging. This book is consistently fast paced and action packed from the first page to the last. We get to see more world building and learn more about the other people suffering under Aric's rule.
Caledonia has to regain the trust of her girls after her blatantly poor decision making at the end of book one. I won't spoil who, but one of our favorite characters dies. I support this decision. Too many authors are scared to kill off a favorite/important character, even though it may help drive the plot. This death ABSOLUTELY drove the plot forward and was extremely well done. It drove Cal to get her shit together and while tragic, I don't think she could have gotten to the point she is at the end of the book without the death...
I loved the idea of former, escaped Bullets helping Caledonia recover from the events of the first book. It is a really cool concept and was executed amazingly. I enjoyed those characters a lot, but it was somewhat difficult to keep them all straight as we kept meeting more and more new characters. I'm excited to see how Pine and Sledge in particular play into the next book.
Holy endings! I am so excited for the next book! That ending perfectly set up the events for Stormbreak and I am itching to read it.
Have you read Seafire? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!