Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A quick paced, apocolyptic coming of age story.


Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—
The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.


This book pulls you right in. I was so pulled into this book, in my first sitting I looked up and had suddenly read 80 pages. It is a high anxiety read, but not the kind you have to set down to breathe, but the kind where the pages keep turning.

The writing style was on point for me. We switched character point of views often, but each one was raw and real. I think that the story is told in present tense also adds to it's overall atmosphere.  As the story unfolded we heard their hopes, their regrets, and their sorrows as they happened.

Wanda's journey is dramatic coming of age story during a drastic period of climate change. Wanda was poorly named (after the hurricane that changed so many people's lives), sets the stage for her to be picked on.  She grows up watching her town constantly change, and slowly most of the people she knows leaves for higher ground as the sea rises.  It's a lovely, and terrifyingly dramatic story with a good balance of potential real science mixed in with enough bits of fantasy and imagination.

If you enjoy dystopian/apocolyptic stories, with a side of "this could be so real" and a bit of mystery I think you'd enjoy this book. 

Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the review copy!

The Light Pirate was published December 6, 2022 and is available on Amazon and Bookshop.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

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