First off, look at the cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous. The summary is awesome as well, and since I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, I obviously had to read it.
Right before the summary, it says this:
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
That’s basically a really clever way of saying that the story is, in essence, about a violinist, a (legal) pirate, and time-travel. And the time-travel is done SO WELL. The people Etta meets act just like I assume they would centuries ago, and the story goes on to describe not only Etta’s struggle of trying to appear as if she belongs in whatever century she’s ended up in, but also the characters’ struggles with the misogyny or racism of the past.
The descriptions are one of the best aspects of this book because they’re so vivid and just splendiferous. But the dialogue follows right behind on the greatness-scale, which is good since it seems like there’s a lot more of it when you get deeper into the book. The characters are realistic and awesome, even Sophia, who sometimes makes things really difficult for Etta and Nicholas but is otherwise not really that bad. In fact, Sophia’s probably my favorite antagonist. Ever. Her motivation is wonderful.
Two random quotes I liked:
- “‘Don’t mind him. He’s allowed one day of good nature a year and he’s already spent it.'”
- “. . . but I must venture through time with the pirate queen would be met with confusion, and fear for Nicholas’s mind.”
Also, THERE’S AWKWARDNESS. THERE’S BETRAYAL. THERE’S HISTORY AND CLEVER PLOT TWIST AFTER CLEVER PLOT TWIST. THERE ARE HARD RIDDLES AND HIGH STAKES. What more could you want?
Although there was one scene about three-fourths in that I disliked and which ruined a bit of the book for me, the plot and the action helped me get right back into enjoying the story. So, ignoring the existence of that one scene, this is the BEST book I’ve read this year and it’ll be pretty hard to beat.
MAGICAL WORD OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER:
Acersecomic, which means someone who has never cut their hair in their lifetime. It would make a great name for a Rapunzel retelling . . .