Blacksouls (Blackhearts #2) by Nicole Castroman (2017)
YA Fiction | Historical: Pirates
“Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.
Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.
Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.
Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.”
pooled ink Review:
If you haven’t read my review for Blackhearts I’ll tell you now that I really liked it. I thought it was great and I was so excited to read a backstory for Blackbeard the pirate (having gone to school in North Carolina he was more than mentioned in our state history). That being said, this book was awesome! Even better than Blackhearts!! While in the first book we see what drags Edward Teach to the Caribbean, in this book we see what aligns him with pirates.
Although Blackhearts was a bit more of a romance and Blacksouls is more of an action story, both ended with me squealing in excitement. Blackhearts unveils the name “Blackbeard” and Blacksouls unveils the name “Queen Anne’s Revenge.” I love pirate tales and both of those moments had me completely freaking out!!!
So, some people complained an awful lot about Blackhearts not being chock full of pirates and battle, but I didn’t mind at all. I mean, after all it’s a very mysterious question as to how an educated man named Edward Teach ended up becoming one of the most successful and feared pirates sailing under the name Blackbeard. So Blackhearts set up Teach’s background – where he came from, how he learned to sail, what kind of person he was, and why on earth he’d journey so very far from England into the lawless islands. I think that’s all very important and utterly fascinating.
But yes, if you found that dull and disappointing then you will be very pleased with Blacksouls. It absolutely made me think of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. It’s full of humor, canon fire, mutiny, blood, ruthlessness, love, and non-stop intrigue. Truly it had me captivated and clinging on to its quick pace.
It doesn’t take overly long for Teach to find Anne but of course their reunion is hardly a reunion because sinister players have bound their hands. Teach is torn between loyalty to his crew and his love for Anne. Anne is torn between her care for Alastair’s family and her love for Teach and her need for revenge.
Anne in this book really escalates in fire. Although she was always a fierce girl she grows exponentially in this book surprising even Teach with her determined desire to fire a pistol and join the pirates. But of course there is always a reason for a character’s shift and in this case it’s really horrible. Anne is of mixed race and never fit in in England but in Nassau she sees the nightmares of slavery first hand and the closer such evils move towards her the angrier she gets. When blood is drawn, Anne is truly changed. So the frustrated fiery girl we met in Blackhearts transforms by the end of this book into a brawling, shooting, breeches-wearing woman hell-bent on revenge.
Teach’s character remains more constant but I only think that is because as a white man in his time period there was always far less restricting him, unlike Anne. The main differences are that his compass always points to Anne and that now he has the freedom to wreak havoc on those who’ve wronged them. So even though his character’s growth was just a bit more subtle than Anne’s, I still found him intriguing. It makes me smile knowingly every time something occurs causing him to shift just a bit more into the pirate I know he becomes.
In this book we really get to see more of the world and how it operated, both on land and on water. Nassau was completely brought to life with all its merriment and hideous demons lurking boldly in the sunlight. Its lawlessness is perfectly captured. And so many historical tactics and nautical terms are seamlessly woven throughout as well.
On top of all the historical goodness oozing into the setting and plot, in this book we meet several new characters. Each one is unique and captivating and they really helped make this book well-rounded, fresh, and fully dimensional, expanding its world beyond just Teach & Anne.
And as I’ve mentioned before there is no shortage of action in this book. Many battles take place, many promises are double-crossed, and many do not make it out alive. This excitement combined with the romance and the history has me addicted.
This book was so good!
But then again I’m generally partial to pirate tales.
Nicole Castroman is such a cool person and her books are so great and I just cannot wait to read how this series will conclude!
Sailing at a breakneck speed towards a conclusion filled with cannons, pirates, love, and revenge, Blacksouls will leave your spine tingling and your eyes glinting with madness as you eagerly await to witness all Queen Anne’s Revenge has in store. Captivating plights, hackle-raising enemies, and exhilarating escapes, Castroman has hit it the target dead center with this pirate-inspired tale.
Purchase here: Blacksouls
Check out the rest of the series: Blackhearts (Book #1)