Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review: The Terror of the Southlands by Caroline Carlson (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters and great humor
Cons: Plot gets a bit sluggish in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Sudden kidnapping
Will Hilary find Miss Pimm?
More fun and danger

This Book is Very Piratical
Last year, I took a chance on an ARC offered via Amazon Vine on a debut that sounded like lots of fun.  I fell so in love with the book that this year, I went out and bought the sequel.  The Terror of the Southlands did not quite live up to the first one, but it was still a fun adventure.

Before you start, you need to be ready for a world until anything you’ve seen before.  This world involves pirates and treasure – it just so happens that the treasure they crave is the magical kind.  Our main character, a young female pirate, even has a gargoyle, magical of course, for a sidekick.  There’s humor and fun along with plenty of adventure.

Hilary Westfield is relishing her new life as the Terror of the Southlands.  Unfortunately, she hasn’t found much adventure in the last few months.  In fact, this has come to the attention of Captain Blacktooth, the president of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates.  He gives Hilary a warning and issues an ultimatum – do something piratical or be kicked out of the league.

Before Hilary can head off on one of her appointed quests, she finds a letter from Miss Pimm asking for assistance.  While Hilary left Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies without finishing, the two have become friends, so naturally she goes to help.  However, when she arrives, she learns that Miss Pimm has been kidnapped.  Can Hilary find her?  Will Blacktooth consider this piratical enough?

There is quite a collection of characters in this books, villains, pirates, a gargoyle, high society girls, and even a former governess.  All of them have their own personalities, and all of them are fun for various reasons.  All of them provide some bits of humor as well, which I really enjoyed.

The best humor in the book comes from the between chapters writing.  We get letters or excerpts from newspapers and newsletters that help fill in bits of the story and provide much of the humor.  Granted, I did laugh at some of the things that happened in the story as well, but I found these between the chapter bits to be the funniest parts.

Unfortunately, the plot isn’t quite as good as the first one.  It starts and ends well, but it gets bogged down in the middle with not much happening.  I was entertained, but I wanted Hilary to make more progress in finding Miss Pimm.  Everything does come into play eventually, however.

This book is filled with a strong assortment of characters, male and female.  We do have a female pirate (even if she is young) as the main character, and she certainly earns her place as a pirate.  But all the characters add their own strengths to the story and by the end everyone has contributed in some way to the outcome.

Overall, I once again enjoyed spending time with Hilary and am already looking forward to seeing what happens to her and her friends next.  Those looking for a fun ride will definitely want to read The Terror of the Southlands.

This review is my entry this week for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. You have me hooked. Great, intriguing story line characters that match. Can't wait to read. Thanks for the review.

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun. I know some pirate fans that would love this one.