Compass Rose by Anna Burke is now the third book I’ve read by this author, though this is actually her debut novel. I can also tell you that with each book, I have been blown away at the enormous talent of Ms. Burke.
We see this story through the eyes of a young woman named Compass Rose who has the unique ability to know where the cardinal points are naturally without instruments to help her. This ability makes her very valuable as a navigator since most of mankind now lives in and around the oceans. Most of the Earth’s land is unlivable or extremely dangerous. Rose’s commanding officer sends her to work with a mercenary named Miranda to find a way to stop the area’s pirates from taking over the underwater mines. This begins an adventure that thrusts Rose into a world she never expected nor wanted to live in.
Ms. Burke has again amazed me with the strength of her characters, her story, and her settings. Her characters are so real that you almost expect them to step out of the pages and start talking to you, which could be a bit frightening since quite a few of them are mercenaries and pirates. The story is complex and intriguing, and she tells it so well that I became totally invested in the tale and the characters. The author’s setting is a dying Earth, and terrifying in its similarity to our current environmental race to extinction. Her thoughts on where we are headed as a world, if we don’t pay attention, are chilling. This tale should give us all reason to pause and consider what we’re doing to our planet in real life.
Though this is mostly an action/adventure/dystopian tale, there is also a lovely thread of romance that runs through the story. Not only does that soften some of the more volatile characters, but it adds a lot of tension in the story as well.
I have already mentioned in another review that Ms. Burke has joined my list of favorite authors. With this novel, she has solidified her place in that list permanently. This novel has also joined my list of favorite books, and I think it will be one of yours as well.
Thanks to Bywater Books for gifting me this novel in exchange for an honest review.