Author Bex Hogan
Description from Amazon
He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?
As I mentioned in my hype post, this was a bookstagram motivated purchase. The plot sounded good, but I didn’t hear about this book from my usual channels. I actually couldn’t even order it from Amazon in the US. I saw it while scrolling through Instagram and read good things so I decided to check it out. Thus, I didn’t have very many expectations going into it.
Grace – Grace was the best character in this book. She was the role model that Marianne needed and the older sister that she wanted. I wish we could have seen more from Grace. She had so much wisdom to offer and she was the key to so many of the mysteries surrounding the Western Islands. No spoilers, but I have a feeling Grace will not be featured nearly as prominently in the next book.
I liked that this story was told only through Marianne’s POV. I think alternating with anyone else would have weakened the story. Marianne is our main character and this is her story. As much as I wanted to hear more about Grace, Torin, even Sharpe, it’s not their story. I think the POV chosen was the right move.
I think there is a very interesting over-arching plot in this series. However, I was definitely turned off by all of the violence. It was quite graphic for what I thought was a YA book. I thought it was needlessly gory in many scenes. The violence alone was an adult theme that I felt was taken too far.
I would continue with this series but, cautiously. I’ll cut it some slack since it’s a debut book but, I thought it was flawed, at best.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – another story set on a ship (and mostly on the water). This series features a rocky father daughter relationship and an arranged marriage plot element like Viper.
- Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen – this is another excellent story about pirates, sea creatures, and magic. Told in alternating POV, this story has many similar vibes to Viper. Also, something to note, both stories have an East-West political plot element that is very similar.
- Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier – another story of royalty, mystery, murder, and set on the seas. There is no magic in this story, but it’s definitely got a similar feeling.
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