Early Review – Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) by Caroline Carlson

July 6, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) by Caroline CarlsonMagic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson
Series: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 10th 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Terror of the Southlands

three-half-stars

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

After recently being denied admittance to The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates simply because she’s a girl, Hilary is now being forced into attending Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Not that she has any desire to become a Delicate Lady. She can tread water for 37 minutes, can tie a knot that cannot be undone and hates dresses because dresses make climbing ship’s rigging next to impossible.

While Hilary is quite the vibrant character on her own, her gargoyle side-kick provided the comic relief when the story veered too far into weighty territory. The weighty territory mostly involved the odd choice in bad guy, which was a bit of a shock and surprise, however it was handled well. While the story was only occasionally serious, the remaining characters were still just as lighthearted making this a perfect read for young kids. In addition to the story there are between chapter snippets of letters, newspaper articles and other assorted information that was a charming addition.

Magic Marks the Spot is an extremely cute Middle Grade novel that comes equipped with a super spunky heroine, entertaining pirates, magical gargoyles and treasure hunting adventures. While this works as a stand-alone novel with its solid wrap-up ending, it’s actually a brand new start to a planned trilogy. Definitely looking forward to future mischief from Ms. Hilary!

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