Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Sovay by Celia Rees

Title: To Catch a Pirate
Author: Jade Parker
Genre: YA / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Point
Published: 2007
Pages: 320

Rating - 2 out of 10

Within the first few pages, I knew that getting into this book had been a mistake. The book is set in 1783 England, and yet there is nothing about Sovay that would lead you to believe she is a product of her time period. She is entirely modern. The first scene is a hurried mess of man-bashing and casual robbery, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. And things grow progressively worse from there.

The plot that Rees sets up in the beginning unravels pretty soon afterward, and the book then proceeds to wander aimlessly toward the last chapter. In attempts to distract you from the fact that the book is going nowhere, it throws supposed adventure and excitement in your face every few pages, as if to dare you to possibly be bored amidst all the highway robberies, secret identities, trifling make-out sessions, occult activities, traveling, prisons, and war. Also, introducing new characters every other chapter, only to have them disappear in a few more, seemed a popular trend here.

The result is a jarring, disjointed story that read as if three already bad books had just been crammed into one very bad one.

As I said above, Sovay was anything but a convincing portrayal of a young woman raised in 1700's England. I don't care if her father is "liberal" and "modern," she was an inaccurate heroine for her setting. Besides this, she is incredibly annoying. She is spoiled and impulsive, determined to get everything that she wants. Men fall all over her, and she strews behind countless broken hearts in her wake. Personally, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

Rees also has the annoying habit of introducing possible romances in the main character's path, and then letting them come to nothing. Sovay conveniently ends up meeting a brand new character and falling for him a few chapters before the book is over, as if Rees realized that she'd gotten to the end of her book with no dashing young man at the heroine's side. This book is sloppily put together, a long string of events that, while not boring in and of themselves, are just unrelated and pointless.

It's a shame, because Celia Rees is such a talented author, and can do far better. If you want to read a good book, read one of her earlier books, Pirates!
This one is just a waste of your time.