Book Review: Compass Rose by Anna Burke
An exciting pirate story set in the future.
What was not to like about this? If you are looking for robust storytelling and world building, then this is the book for you. Extra points for lots of strong women characters.
This story is about a woman named Compass Rose, who was born with the gift of direction. The book starts off with her going about her days on the North Star until her Admiral assigns her to leave on a secret mission to navigate for a mercenary captain named Miranda.
I loved the setting of a future world where the affects of global warming have forced people to the oceans to survive. Cities are underwater. There are dead zones of hot soupy water. Boats have to sub deep in order to avoid massive storms that plague the earth.
Not only was the setting fantastic, but all of the characters were carefully crafted with unique characteristics, appearances, and personalities. A lot of times author throw characters in just to help further plot. Not here. Everyone had a backstory, was deeply entangled with our two main characters, and had you caring for them. Even when they were behaving badly.
The entire thing was one adventure after another. Battling the seas, fighting the opposition, facing hunger, trying to gain acceptance, underwater fishing mishaps, infiltrating occupied zones, caging giant squids, staying alive, etc. I was completely into this story and did not want to stop reading.
Thankfully, this book was pretty hefty in length to keep the enjoyment lingering. I’m used to quick pure romance reads. If those books are long, I find myself getting bored at parts. This one kept me flipping pages with pure excitement for what was coming next.
There is a bit of a love story in this. Rose becomes enamored with her new mercenary captain, Miranda. It is a forbidden attraction that is formed by anger, frustration, and physique. Rose fights against her feelings because there is no way she could get involved with someone who has killed, stolen and generally has been a bad human being in the past. Not to mention that hooking up with your boss must be against the rules. I loved the tension between the two of the that never dwindles throughout the entirety of the book.
Throughout the book you learn more and more about these characters and what makes them who they are today. I enjoyed the slow discovery and how it impacts the decisions that have to be made in later chapters providing the small dose of angst that I love reading.
Eventually, we come to understand why Rose was sent on the mission. Who Miranda is and why she chose to work with the Archepelago fleet. It was a lot of fun getting there.
I’m sorry that I did not read this sooner and I recommend it to anyone who likes to read love stories, pirates, global warming, oceans, sparring, tension, algae blooms, and Neptune’s balls.