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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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Fiction for Adults


Cover Art: Navigating
                    the Storm
Navigating the Storm
By Sarah Branson
Sooner Started Press, 2022, E-book ISBN 978-1-957774-04-6, US $8.99
Print ISBN 978-1-957774-03-9, US $18.99
Audiobook ISBN 978-1-957774-05-3, US $15.00


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The discovery of Glitter Ė a sparkly element with properties that make it more prized than rum Ė changes the way the pirates of Bosch conduct business. They no longer plunder at sea; their plundering is more subtle, but equally rewarding. They ferry their cargo via ships of the air, accumulating markers and treasures while also freeing thralls when possible. One formerly enslaved thrall is Kat Wallace, but the ramification of her adopted fatherís death is banishment to Edo, the home of her diplomat husband, Takai Shima, with their three children. But this isnít the sanctuary she expects; someone wants her dead. Luckily, her period of exile is almost at an end and sheís eager to return to Bosch and her old way of life.

Upon her return, Kat rejoins the Bosch Pirate Force, which requires her to once again attend the training academy. She is a leader and adept at what she does, but she has no interest in becoming an officer. She prefers to do things her way, preferably guided by her own judgement and experience, rather than always adhering to the rules. Which, of course, gets her into trouble with an officer, Colonel Gia Kaíne, who is assembling a flight unit and is need of a pilot. According to the Master Commandant, Kat is one of the best. Gia has her doubts and leans toward canning Kat until after she surpasses all expectations during her trial run at the helm. Thereafter, Giaís team takes on extractions, intelligence gathering, and Glitter runs, with guileful pilfering when circumstances permit. During these missions, Katís mother watches over the grandchildren and Takai begins a three-year command of a colonial settlement ship, which provides him with the perfect opportunity to continue his illicit liaisons with beautiful women, far from where Kat might learn the truth.

Not everyone is pleased that Kat is back. An influential family, and a good friend of her adopted father, blames her for his death. A late-night encounter with one son upends the well-honed team that Gia has put together and itís up to Kat to figure out how to make things right, which leads to unexpected consequences.

Nor is this Katís only concern. The man who once enslaved her is again a senator of the Federal Alliance, in spite of his downfall for which she is responsible. A hard-boiled, furtive man with both private and public personae, he establishes the groundwork that will permit him to run a global cartel that traffics in thralls while snatching control of Glitter from the Bosch. On a more personal agenda, he has definite payback plans for Kat and just the enticement to lure her back into his clutches.

Navigating the Storm, the second book in the Pirates of New Earth series, is not your typical pirate book. Rather, it is a blend of science fiction with steampunk and cyberpunk interlaced with realistic human emotions and experiences set in the twenty-fourth century. Thematic threads pertain to greed, slavery, reunions, lies, commitment, betrayal, loss, jealousy, and the corollaries of actions. Action is high paced and riveting, and interwoven with screenshots of pastoral family life and manipulations, either underhanded or aboveboard. This permits readers to readily identify with the characters and situations they face. Kat begins as a simple character who matures as the book progresses; hitting rock-bottom makes her stronger and savvier, and puts her on firmer ground to face whatever lies in the future. The glimmers brandished throughout the story whet readersí hankerings for what happens next, which will be unveiled in Burn the Ship, the forthcoming title in the series.




Review Copyright ©2022 Cindy Vallar


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