Thursday, November 14, 2013

Magic Marks the Spot (2013)

Magic Marks the Spot (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates). Caroline Carlson. 2013. HarperCollins. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Ever since the letter had arrived from Miss Pimm's Hilary had spent more and more time talking to the gargoyle. 

I loved, loved, loved Magic Marks the Spot. Hilary, our heroine, has spent most of her life wanting just one thing: to be a pirate. Unfortunately, young ladies are not allowed into the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. And when she makes the application, well, the league itself steps in to "do the right thing" and enroll her in Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. And it is to finishing school she goes, for a while at least, but she has no plans of staying there. She is waiting for the right opportunity to escape. And that moment does come, she sneaks away to answer an advertisement:
Established, respected freelance pirate seeking experienced crew members for upcoming voyage. Must be able to swashbuckle, swab decks, swill grog, fire cannons, and climb to the crow's nest. Successful applicants will sign contract for one round-trip voyage, with opportunity for further collaboration if merited. Voyage details to be divulged upon acceptance. Applicants trained in treasure location are of particular interest. Please apply in person to 25 Little Herring Cove, Wimbly-on-the-Marsh, at ten o'clock on Saturday morning. Eye patches and hooks OK. Please--no parrots. (75)
Magic Marks the Spot is historical fantasy. Magic is very real in the world Carlson has created. It is not equally distributed, however. Magic plays a definite role. Hilary's gargoyle is magic. And he is a delightful part of the story! The action and adventure center on finding magical treasure, and the mystery on finding the thief who has been stealing magical objects from the elite ruling class.

I enjoyed this one so much! The characters are quite fun. The story is just delightful with plenty of surprises! Would definitely recommend!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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