Sea Wolf by Anna Burke is the second novel in “The Compass Rose” series. In my opinion, this book is even better than the first book, and that’s saying something because I think Compass Rose is an absolutely wonderful tale.
The second novel begins a few months after the first one ends, and continues the story of Compass Rose, Captain Miranda Stillwater, and all of the characters we have come to know and care for in the first book. There is adventure, intrigue, danger, disaster, death, love, and heartbreak in this story. There is also a great deal of angst, especially with Rose and Miranda. The author is not very kind to the characters in this tale, and really gives them a lot to overcome. Of course this only adds to the excitement of the story, and made this a book I simply could not put down.
I have always loved reading post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels. This series has two of the best books in the genre that I’ve ever read. The world in these two books is frightening because it could so easily become true. In both of these stories, the setting is mostly a world of oceans, due to climate change. What land is still above water is mostly uninhabitable. Even the water has many dead areas, and the areas that are not dead are alive with dangerous predators, both marine life and human. The harshness of this setting only adds to the dangers the characters must survive, and that is before you add multiple bad guys trying to grab power and wealth.
The author weaves relationships all through Sea Wolf. For instance, we know that Rose and Miranda are in love. What these two have to learn is that love alone is not enough to sustain a lasting relationship. This becomes a major part of this story. The characters we see most often, and especially Rose, must also find their place within a crew that becomes a chosen family. These story elements are woven into the plot so well that we, the reader, don’t even notice their skillful inclusion until we reflect on the story later.
This is not a standalone novel. Sea Wolf begins where Compass Rose ends, and trying to read the second story alone would be hard to do. Luckily, both books are fantastic, so you should get them both and read them in order. Then we can all sit and wait impatiently for Ms. Burke to write the third book in the series.
I received an ARC from Bywater Books for an honest review.