**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title Devil’s Ballast
Author Meg Caddy
Description from Amazon
Anne Bonny was 18 when she ran away from her violent husband, into the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack. Now, aboard Jack’s ship, she’s part of a ruthless crew bringing mayhem and murder to the Caribbean. But James Bonny is willing to pay to get his wife back. And pirate-hunter Captain Barnet is open to all offers.
Release Date July 14, 2020
I was excited to read this one. It’s been a while since I read a good pirate story and this one sounded really interesting.
Some Things I Liked
- Anne’s wit and sass. Anne was hilarious and I loved her dialogue. She was a fierce main character and I loved seeing her interactions with everyone.
- Calico Jack as a more romantic Jack Sparrow. Jack gave me such Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow vibes and I really liked that. Albeit, a more responsible and less selfish Jack Sparrow, he felt like he gave off similar eccentric pirate energy.
- Dark themes. This book didn’t shy away from some of the dark themes that were prevalent at the time. Anne ran away from an abusive husband, she was conflicted over her pregnancy, and murder was a regular occurrence. This story didn’t sugar coat any of that and I respected the plot for its honesty.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- I wasn’t totally sold on the twist with Martin. One of Mary Read’s claims to fame was that she had a stay of execution because she was pregnant (like Anne) so I was surprised to find that this Martin would never really be in a position to be pregnant at the same time as Anne. While I understand this is a work of historical fiction, I thought this aspect strayed from the truth a smidge too much. However, I will say that I liked the character very much. My issue is with the changes from the real story.
I’d love to see a sequel to this story. Anne and Martin were such fun main characters and I’d really enjoy a sequel / spin-off about Martin. Despite what I know about Anne, Mary, and Calico Jack’s fates, I’d still like to see more of their adventures as written by Meg Caddy.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the romance, the references to history, and the plot. I would like to see more from these characters but I am also satisfied where everything ended.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace – if you liked the idea of pirates with a lot of sass, try this book that came out in February.