Book Review: SEAFIRE by Natalie C. Parker

Three masted ships on a dark sea with the title below

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book of trilogy


Book cover for SEAFIRE: title in front of a stylistic compass surrounded by peaks against a swirling turquoise backgroundAfter her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I was so excited when Osborne announced they’d be publishing SEAFIRE in the UK. I’ve been on and off in a sea-ish and boat-y book mood all year – which is weird as I cannot STAND boats in real life.

I was not disappointed. It’s a rattle stop tour from start to finish, the action interspersed with really great moments between the crew. I wanted to know what would happen next, how they’d succeed with an old, patched together boat and limited supplies – not to mention half the world out to get them. I could follow all the action scenes, engaged in the stakes rather than watching girls shoot at faceless boys.

There was such an obvious bond between the girls, one shown through their seamless coordinated action in fights and in chores. It was nice to see all the female characters working in harmony, rather than any pettiness arising for no reason.

The writing was crisp and clear, well put together. The sentences felt so carefully crafted, each word picked for maximum impact. It made the book feel like such high quality.

Caledonia is quite emotionally repressed, blaming herself for something that – from the prologue when the event is shown – is not her fault. It meant she wouldn’t share things with her best friend and was so slow to trust the boy that I wanted to shake her at times. If she’d opened up about losing her family, and the part she thought she’d played, then she wouldn’t have had the fights with her best friend. It felt a bit silly that she’d keep that secret.

The romance felt so quick – starting in the final few chapters and then they’re kissing. I almost thought a different girl would get with the boy, but it’s YA: the main girl has to get with the boy – particularly if he starts off her enemy. It would have been fine without the romance, and a nice change for once, but I’ve come to expect this from YA.

I would have loved a map, to try and work out where they were in relation to other places, so hopefully book 2 includes one? They were on the water the whole time, which made it less important to know if they were going north or south, but a map does help to orientate me.

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