Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Review: Pacifica

Title: Pacifica
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopia 
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Source: ALAAC
Format: ARC

Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.
Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.
When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate (goodreads).

Pacifica was a thrilling adventure that will make you think. 
Plot: I love Kristen Simmons' books because they're always somewhat grounded in reality. Pacifica was a twisty adventure that I found easy to fly through. In a dystopian future, North America (or Noram) has been overrun with garbage and suffering from the effects of climate change. It came to the point where the government decided to send 500 people to live on Pacifica, a green island that appeared to be everyone's salvation.

From page one, Pacifica had my attention; the world was in a dark place with the lower class rioting on a nightly basis. There were so many layers to Pacifica and I love how Simmons left breadcrumbs and kept building the mystery of both Pacifica and how Marin was tied to it. Pacifica was a standalone book with four distinct acts that led to a satisfying ending; I'm sad to leave Marin and Ross behind, but I closed the book with a smile on my face. 

Characters: Pacifica was told from the alternating perspectives of Ross and Marin and those two perspectives helped shape the novel and give it depth. Marin was your standard tough-as-nails character who grew up wanting to save everyone, while Ross lived the cushy life of the president's son and was ignorant of all of life's hardships. Of course, the two clashed almost immediately, but their relationship was sweet as it unfolded. 

Worldbuilding: Pacifica told the story of what could happen to our world if climate change and waste were not acknowledged. The water was filled with plastic, dangerous storms were wreaking havoc, and resources were quickly depleting. Along with this bleak look at the future, I found it fascinating how certain languages and cultures morphed in Simmons' world. 

Shot N Sweet: Pacifica highlighted pirates and conspiracies, what's not to love?


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