Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Terror of the Southlands

Terror of the Southlands (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, book two)
By Caroline Carlson
Published 2014 by HarperCollins

WARNING: There be spoilers ahead (probably). Read my review of book one here.

Hilary Westfield is definitely not a High Society girl anymore. After her adventures on the high seas, she is most definitely a pirate. In fact, she is the fearsome pirate known as the Terror of the Southlands. The fearsome description is up for contention, though - the President of the VNHLP thinks she has exhibited unpiratical behavior and demands she change her ways. But when an old friend is in trouble, will the Terror choose the VNHLP way or forge her own path?

If you haven't read my review of book one, you should maybe just go do that instead of reading this one because I'm pretty sure I'll be doing nothing but repeating myself. Magic Marks the Spot was one of my favorite books of last year (I even nominated it for the Cybils) and I was eagerly anticipating book two. I was thrilled to see the e-galley pop up and downloaded it right away. I had wanted to read the book immediately, but I ended up putting it off until closer to the release date and finished it just in time.

This book lived up to all my expectations and the lovely promise of book one. Book two has everything the first had and, like I said, I'm not sure I can say anything that I didn't say in my first review. I'll try to break it down as I did in my first review.

Characters: Hilary is still the charming and kick-butt hero from book one and the Gargoyle is still my absolute favorite. I enjoyed that we got to see all the delightful characters from the first book but also were introduced to and spent more time with new characters. I liked having Claire along for the ride in this adventure, though I did miss Jasper. But I loved Cannonball Jack - there are just so many memorable characters!

Plot: once again, the story is action-packed, full of twists and turns and adventure that will keep readers flipping the pages at a furious pace. It is not quite as exciting as the plot in book one, but by the end, I was all in and wondering if there would be a book three!

Villains: some of the bad guys from book one are still being bad guys in book two, but some new bad guys come on the scene as well. I loved seeing Hilary's interactions with Philomena and her suspicions about how terrible she really is. While is still wasn't terribly difficult to spot the villain, it's such a delightful journey that I didn't mind.

The storytelling, the magic, the humor, the heart: just as good as book one and I love it all!

Though my ARC didn't include it, I was thrilled to see a page at the end marking a spot for a sneak peek at book three, which means more adventures for the Terror and her crew! I cannot wait! If you haven't read these books, please do and share them with all the young readers in your life!

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.


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