Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellision

Lady Pirates, Book One
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
239 pages

The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board. 

That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.

Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans...

To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.

Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.

She just isn’t sure that she won’t.


The salty air, raw life of pirating, hopes, doubt and dreams comes to life with a massive wave of girl power in this high-seas adventure.

Grace captains the all girl crew of the pirate ship, Lady Luck, where men are simply not allowed aboard. When a battle leaves two men stranded on a shipwreck and their fate will be at the hands of beastly creatures, Grace feels forced to make an exception and brings the two aboard. She plans to drop them off soon, but one of the men knows the location of the map she's been searching for many years. Getting her hands on this map is her greatest desire but it might cost her everything else she holds dear, even her beloved crew.

This is not a sweet, princess like adventure. These are pirates in all of their roughness, strife and dreams. Grace is an amazing captain and holds all of those qualities needed to be a successful pirate, but she has her flaws like everyone else. Her crew and her rub shoulders but fit together like a raw puzzle—it's a pirating crew to adore and cheer for the entire way. The scenes are well done, allowing the moments to come alive, and there's just the right amount of humor thrown in to keep up a little fun.

It's a well paced read, keeping the reader in the pages from start to finish. The action as well as the dialogue is engaging and holds a clever back and forth. There is a romance of sorts, but this is by no means the main driving force. At times, it's almost too subtle and misses a little spark. But this isn't about hearts and love, it's about pirating and Grace.

Grace's past haunts her, and it's this which drives her forward into the adventure. There are so many aspects to love in this. A few stumbles come too. A little background depth as well as character depth is missing at times, which considering it's a fairly short read at 230 or so pages was missing. Still, the adventure is enticing and the characters intriguing, and it's this longing to know them and the circumstances better which show how fresh and interesting the story is. Since this is the beginning of a series, I'm hoping that the information is still to come as well as the chance to dive into some of this really great side characters as well. Because this is a crew to cheer for.

And here she is. . .

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit. Jennifer is the author of the Young Adult pirate fantasy, Over Raging Tides and the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea.

Fun Pirating Facts!
  • Over Raging Tides was inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean... and the fact that there is only one female character of note in the first film.
  • To give the story a realistic feel, I researched a few ways:
  • While on an unrelated trip in London, I toured the Royal Observatory to get a sense of previous nautical navigation methods.
  • I read a great deal of non-fiction specifically about lady pirates. The highlight of these for me was Pirate Women by Laura Sook Duncombe.
  • I also read some YA pirate fiction, like Daughter of the Pirate Queen by Tricia Levenseller and Steel by Carrie Vaughn, thinking about which parts of those books popped as realistic for me.
  • The first scene that I wrote for Over Raging Tides was written in 2014, but back then, I was busy with my debut novel/series, Threats of Sky and Sea, so I put my lady pirates aside for the time being.
  • I seem to have a "thing" for YA involving water in some aspect. My debut, Threats of Sky and Sea, is an elemental magic fantasy.

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