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I received this book from Booklikes in exchange for an honest review.
Let's start with the cover. Damn, this book is beautiful. Love the font, love the design. Definitely makes you want to read it. On the inside cover, there is even a wonderful diagram of the Night Farer. Absolutely beautiful. I kind of wish there was an diagram of the Ava-lee as well, but Alosa spends way more time on the Night Farer in the book so I get it. Bottom line: the book is gorgeous.
Onto the plot. I loved that Alosa is the captain of her own ship and embodies a remarkable combination of strength and power along with sensitivity and compassion. She isn't a female captain pretending to be a male captain. She sticks with what she believes in and is 100% herself. The plot was very interesting. There are so many twists and turns (some are predictable, but it is still a fun adventure). There are so many layers to this book that it is easy to get lost in the story. Very engaging.
I wasn't a huge fan of the whole love interest thing. Yes, Riden is ridiculously charismatic (and apparently hot), but the whole Beauty-and-the-Beast-Stockholm-Syndrome thing just isn't my taste. I was a little weirded out by the various references to threats of rape and assault. It made sense in the story, but I think it could be handled a bit better for the audience.
The narration gets a bit repetitive at times. As the narrator, Alosa has a habit of telling the reader exactly how she feels and doing a lot of information dumps that don't fit with the rest of the novel. Sometimes I just wanted Alosa to get on with the plot instead of trying to psychoanalyses herself in the narration. Yes, we know your conflicted, get back to the fighting.
The book sets up the next book in the series nicely, solving some issues while leaving others open to be explored later.
Overall, a good entertaining read. I really liked Alosa's character, but could have done without the love-interest aspect. As a YA book, I get the inclusion, but sometimes I want a cool magical book that doesn't spend so much time developing some boring relationship. But the plot was cool and the espionage aspect was exciting.
This is definitely a book you can easily get caught up in.