Blog Tour: Review of Ships, Secrets and Survivors by Sarah Rodecker and Helena George!

8:00 AM


Greetings from the cave!! 

I come to you today with a bookish post...seems like forever that I did one of those, hasn't it? 

I am reviewing the debut novel of my dear friends Sarah Rodecker and Helena George (known in the blogosphere as Julian Daventry)! Some of you may recall that I also participated in the cover reveal for this book about a month or so ago. I was so excited to sign up as an ARC reader for this book, since I missed my chance to be a beta due a certain literary child of my own *sends a Look to the screaming TWR in her editor's cell* (trust me, it's for her own good). 

In case you all have forgotten about what this book is about, here is the blurb: 

An assassin trainee fleeing his profession. 

A princess risking her reputation.

A talking ship with a mad captain.

Ravin should be dead. No one forsakes the assassin profession and lives. Attempting to evade capture and certain death, Ravin hides on a ship as part of the crew. Then his name is announced on Selection Day for the annual Scaera Dumeda, despite him never taking the entry test, declaring to the entire world—and the assassins hunting him for revenge—that he is alive. 

Princess Adima Radi Kashinda dreams of more than someday ruling Antovan. She desires to make a true difference for her people. When her name is called on Selection Day, she throws away her title, despite the uncertain future ahead. This may be the opportunity she hoped for.

When some of the other selectees are murdered, Ravin and Adi are among the suspects. With the help of Ravin’s captain and crew, they sail away to hunt down the killer and clear their names. Can they catch the murderer when he always seems to be at least one step ahead?

Exciting, no?? 

Sooooo, what did I think of it? Let's find out! 

Standard disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC. All opinions expressed are my own. 

What I Liked: 

- THE CHARACTERS. Just....gahhh. Well written, relatable, personable. They will be friends :) 

- the pacing was wonderful - just enough action to keep me riveted, but not enough to exhaust me, nor was it too slow either. 

- the little paragraphs before each chapter. They gave a perspective on the story that just couldn't be woven in anywhere else! Really clever! 

- The fact that Theo wanted to be king in place of his older sister. Call me an old-fashioned fuddy duddy, but I'm so relieved to see a young man wish to accept leadership. 

- There is a strong theme of using unideal circumstances to make a difference to yourself and the world, and that's one I can get well behind. 

- how well written the injuries were. Actual effects of injuires! No falling of roofs unscathed! What a novelty! 

- Ravin's constant struggle with his upbringing. It literally stays with him, which is a mark of a well-written character. 

- The world-building was excellent, down to the minute details about each of the countries. 

- Pirates are not romanticized in this book, which is an important thing to distinguish. 

What I Disliked: 

- how abruptly Shade's character arc changed. I felt like I missed a crucial moment when he changed and so had to back and re-read that chapter a few times. 

- the whole saga with Ravin's papers confused me at first reading, but now it makes sense. Pays to read books multiple times before reviewing. 

- there was a long while that Red Wind wasn't speaking and I was waiting and waiting for her to talk again. I get that she's picky about who she talks to but I wanted more sassy ship talk, LOL. 

- BONNIE. Oh that poor mess of a girl. 

- The use of (omitted) as a way to get around using swear words. I completely understand why it was done, but it seemed really jarring. I wonder if symbols would have been a better choice? 

What else I noticed: 

- When I first saw Hawthorn's name, I took a huge double take. In my defense, it's really weird seeing your non de plume surname as a first name. Just saying. 

- There were two typos, one was Hawthorn's name (had an e on the end, page 75), and the other was "canon" rather than "cannon" on page 262. 

RW Ratings:

(yes, I still plan to use these, hush). 

Language: 5 stars. The bas**** word is used a couple of times in it's literal sense, but everything else was either implied or (omitted). 

Abuse: 4 1/2 stars. Implied physical abuse and lots of emotional and physical abuse done by antagonists. 

Lust: 5 stars. Perfectly squeaky clean. 

Overall Rating: 5 stars!!! 

I heartily recommend this book for anyone who loves fantasy, pirates, awesome characters, sassy talking ships, and a motley crew of renegade heroes! 

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE, on Amazon HERE, or preorder from the website HERE. And for an extra bonus, click HERE for pre-order goodies! 

Oh speaking of goodies, and don't forget about the giveaway that's happening until the 31st! 

US Giveaway (Enter HERE): 

International Giveaway (Enter HERE): 

  • An ebook copy of Ships, Secrets, and Survivors
  • A PDF of Fearless, a Pirate Hunter Chronicles short story
  • And a phone wall paper

Until next time, my friends! 

Scribbingly yours, 


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  1. Ahh! I'm glad you don't like romanticizing pirates either. I get really annoyed with media showing them as good people because they're totally not. *annoyed sideways glance at PotC* It was really important to me to show them as the kind of people that they actually are.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to review our little book and for being a part of the blog tour!!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed SSaS. :) (Also, I love Theo, and he has more scene time in Book 2!)

    And yeah, that's a pet peeve of mine...the romanticizing of pirates...


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