I was fortunate enough to be part of the blog tour for this book, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts on it with you gals and guys today! I told you about it a little while ago, and I said that it gave me such lady pirate feels. However, I was wrong – no lady pirates – but had also lady captains and lady shippers, or, erm, ladies on ships. But it was still good anyway.
Here’s a little rehash:
About the Book:
- Title: AIR AND ASH
- Author: Alex Lidell
- Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
- Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
- Pages: 284
- Formats: Paperback, eBook
- Find it: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Master and Commander meets Tamora Pierce in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.
After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.
Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.
But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.
AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and Naomi Novik.
This was definitely like any book that I’ve read. I thought that I had really read every kind of fantasy book, but this was the first time I was reading about life on a ship in a fantasy world. It was so interesting, and I have to give Liddell for creating such an original world and properties to it. The whole Gifted aspect and the different countries were so interesting, and she really took the time to flesh it out. I only got confused a few times, and it was my own fault for taking a pause and not remembering. Other than that, she did a fantastic job of showcasing her world.
The storyline was very interesting as well. I honestly never knew what was coming next. There were a lot of twists and turns, and did I expect any of them? No, and that was a brilliant thing. I also loved how literally something could appear out of the fog and change the entire storyline. Liddell definitely kept me on my toes.
I enjoyed our wonderful heroine Nile as well. She was strong, fierce, and she knew what was up – in so many aspects. When she started getting sick, it wasn’t this whole, oh, I don’t know what is happening, let’s guess for 100 pages. She knew right away and dealt with it, and I loved that. The only issue I had with her is in the beginning I felt her strength was more telling than showing, and I just wanted to see it more. She seemed a bit forced, but the more I got into it, the more psychological I realized her characterization to be. She has been forced into a society where she has to be strong or else she’s done, and how can you afford not to be strong all the time? Once I realized this, I totally got into the groove, and I enjoyed her again.
The romance was good as well – when it showed up. And I say that in the best way possible, because to me, this book was NOT about the romance. While it was delightful and a fantastic slow burn, I was so enthralled with the storyline that I didn’t care if I had my feels. Liddell did that well with the plot and keeping things interesting. Also, I might be sensing a different ship as well? (lol, two ships on a ship) And yet I was totally fine with either of them.
The hardest part to read about this book was the society that Nile was forced to live in. I was thinking back to Daughter of the Pirate King, which had some very fierce ladies ruling the sea and it was never questioned. She was strong; therefore, she was accepted. However, the more I thought about it, the more unrealistic it seemed to me. Ladies on the sea or in combat position never get the same treatment, and back in the times/alternate fantasy land that Nile is forced in? Yeah, it’s not going to happen with equality and major love. It was hard at times to read about the way that Nile was looked down upon, and I totally wanted to go get my picket signs and protest a certain Captain. -_- While it was hard to read, I’m glad Liddell included it because it added a real sense of realism and what ladies had/have to go through in this type of society – even though it was a sucky one for the ladies.
Liddell also has a really nice writing style. It was so easy to be drawn into her world with her writing and ability to steer the story into twists and turns. I will definitely be picking up other books by her in the future – and we all know how picky I am about my writing style.
Overall, this was a very engrossing read, and while I didn’t get my lady pirates, I got some epic seafaring ladies, which is fair enough trade. 😉 Nile was a fierce heroine, and this world was quite complex and wonderfully drawn. I never saw what was coming next. I did get disconnected in parts, which led to the drop in a crown for me (although I might have been in a book slump sooooo that could have been a factor), but this story always did manage to draw me back in. There are quite a few nice ships in here as well – romantic and actual kind – and I did feel passionately about all the members of the crew (I’m looking at you Captain Rima especially -_-).
Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
About Alex Liddell
Alex Lidell is an avid horseback rider, paramedic and ice cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s lifelong love for YA fantasy books. Alex’s debut novel, THE CADET OF TILDOR, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards finalist. Her second book AIR AND ASH releases in May 2017.
(Pssst…she’s super nice by the way!)
1 winner will receive a finished copy of AIR AND ASH & a hardcover of A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas, INTERNATIONAL.
5/1/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Excerpt
5/1/2017- Twinning for Books– Review
5/2/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Interview
5/2/2017- History from a Woman’s Perspective– Review
5/3/2017- Fiction Fare– Review
5/3/2017- Book Princess Reviews– Review (OH LOOK, THAT BE ME)
5/4/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
5/4/2017- Reading for the Stars and Moon– Review
5/5/2017- Margie’s Must Reads– Review
5/5/2017- Angelic Book Reviews– Review
5/8/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
5/8/2017- Book Briefs– Review
5/9/2017- A Backwards Story– Interview
5/9/2017- Mundie Moms– Review
5/10/2017- Book Sniffers Anonymous– Excerpt
5/10/2017- J.R.’s Book Reviews– Review
5/11/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Review
5/11/2017- Booklove– Review
5/12/2017- Reese’s Reviews– Review
5/12/2017-A Dream Within A Dream– Review
So what do you think? How cool does this sound? What are some of your favorite stories on ships? Let’s discuss in the comments below!