Monster House
50 word book reviews

The Abyss Surrounds Us
Emily Skrutskie
The Abyss Surrounds Us
The InkMonster Seal of Approval

Plot

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

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Lesbian pirates! Lush world-building and beautiful, terrifying monsters! Great action and emotional arc! What more could we ask for? A wonderful balance of action, urban fantasy world-building, and romance. I loved that this wasn’t a coming-out story. Instead, the author focuses on the psychological and emotional ramifications of Cas falling in love with Swift, a fierce pirate girl who is also one of Cas’s captors. Loved it, from start to finish. Highly recommended!

Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

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