Book Review: This Savage Sea by A.P. Walston

This is my review of This Savage Sea by A.P. Walston, first posted on Reedsy Discovery! I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review and all opinions are my own!

Special update: This Savage Sea has been featured on Reedsy’s 61 Greatest Indie Books of All Time! Like holy cow? Congrats to the author!

I love being part of a book launch. It’s such a thrill ride and it’s so fun to live vicariously through a fellow author’s excitement! (And it teaches me a lot about how to launch a book, in light of the fact that I’ll be on that boat soon!)

I’ll be completely honest: usually, with these Reedsy reviews, I read the book, I submit the review, and that is the end of that. I never interact with the author, never hear another word about it. Which is totally normal, and I’m not complaining about it.

However, it is cool when I get to see what happens afterward, especially when I enjoyed the book! This time, the author reached out to me and thanked me–and I found out she has an awesome author platform on Instagram that you should totally check out!

So without further ado, my book review of This Savage Sea!

Disclaimer: post contains affiliate links.

This Savage Sea: Synopsis

An archaeologist with a secret.
Three years had trickled by since Anna accomplished the impossible. Three years of avoiding Briland high society, toiling away in ancient ruins among the dead. But when her brother is detained by marshals, Anna jumps at the chance for another fast-paced adventure.

A pirate longing for home.
Trevor had tasted nothing but frustration and disappointment in his search for a stolen map. Unable to return without it, an opportunity finally presents itself in the form of a naval captain’s arrest.

A naval captain caught in the middle.
If Markus had known possession of the Pirate King’s map would be this much trouble, he would have told Anna to burn it. Despite being the key to clearing his name, the map is the least of his concerns. Not with Anna and her mysterious companion dancing around their mutual attraction.

Anna learns the only way to truly save Markus involves the map she stole from the Pirate King. Forging their way through the desert and straight to the Briland capital, Anna finds herself fighting more than feelings of distrust for their new companion. Success hinges on their ability to work together and failure isn’t an option.

My Review

One-line review: An exciting adventure with lovable pirates, snarky protagonists, and great settings!

Rating: 4/5 stars

I had a lot of fun being in the world of this book. It was like Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean in an alternate version of Europe. The author does a fantastic job of describing settings and giving you a clear picture of where you are and what it looks like. It was very immersive and interesting.

Now let’s just cut right to the chase: our dashing pirate, Trevor, has made my list of favorite fictional men. I’m a sucker for a gentle giant (with a bada$$ streak) and the chemistry between him and our archeologist MC, Anna? Lots of fun. But author, if I may be so bold: in book 2, please give Markus a day pass to Disney World or something so those two can actually get some alone time!

I will say that I found it incomprehensibly odd that Anna couldn’t figure out who Trevor was by the end. (No spoilers!) I understand that her memory was fuzzy, but she was on the road with the man for weeks. Maybe I’m being too critical of the old girl, and I also understand that this is the first in a series, so perhaps there is going to be a big reveal in book 2. There had better be because the suspense is killing me!

I also thought the reader was kept in the dark for too long about some very important plot details, especially pertaining to the characters’ backstories. I understand the need to build mystery and intrigue, but for much of the book, it felt vague, and it would’ve helped ground me in the story way better if I’d had a clear picture of prior events earlier on.

Another thing I found odd was that Trevor’s POV chapters were written in his (Scottish?) accent, even though we were in 3rd-person limited. Don’t get me wrong: I loved getting Trevor’s perspective on things. He was funny and brash. But personally, I thought it was an odd stylistic choice that took me out of the story.

Other than that, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of Pirates of the Caribbean and Daughter of the Pirate King. Looking forward to book 2 because I have to know what happens next!

Check it out here!

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