I really loved Seafire last year, so I was thrilled when Penguin asked if I wanted to be a part of their blog tour for Steel Tide.
Please be aware that this is a book two, so there will be spoilers from book one below.
Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker
The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord’s powerful fleet.
Caledonia may have lost her crew, but she’s not done fighting yet. After nearly dying at the hand of a powerful foe, Caledonia is pulled from the sea and nursed back to health by a crew of former Bullets that call themselves Blades. The Blades escaped Aric Athair’s clutches and now live a nomadic existence, ready to disappear at a moment’s notice should trouble come their way.
But Caledonia wants to do more than just hide. She wants to find the Mors Navis and her beloved sisters. She wants to continue fighting Aric’s fleet and to take back the Bullet seas. She’ll need to do everything in her power to convince the Blades that fighting is their only option, that there has to be a life better than the one under Aric Athair’s reign, and that finding the women of the Mors Navis is the first step to revolution.
Steel Tide starts off right where Seafire ended, so there will be spoilers for book one if you haven’t read it yet.
Caldonia was injured and thought to be dead after her fight with Lir. She didn’t get her brother back and her crew was gone. She woke up in a strange place with people she doesn’t know. She believes they are Bullets and is confused as to why they’re helping her heal. The ones who have come to tend her start telling her a little bit about themselves, but she doesn’t know what to think. She is told that they are not Bullets anymore. The call themselves Blades and they have weaned off the Silt. They escaped from Aric’s hold somehow and they now live in a small community, mostly keeping to themselves.
Once we were, but none of us chose to be. We are here because we choose a different kind of life.
This group was used and controlled for so long. Taken from their families without their consent. So now, everything is about consent to them. They wait for it before making any decision and before touching.
Consent is our most sacred possession.
As much as I loved all the girls from Seafire, I found myself loving this group so much. Maybe even a bit more. Their stories were tragic, but they fought to escape and create a happy life. The big standouts were Sledge, Pine, and Triple. If I read it right, I believe Sledge and Pine were a couple, but it wasn’t mentioned at all for awhile. Pine is very hesitant to listen to Caldonia. He has no trust for her. Caldonia found herself liking, and almost trusting, the group while she was healing. They were kind and happy. Some colonists came to warn them that there is too much notice from Aric’s ships on them now and they need to leave. Caldonia knows it’s her fault since they were likely looking for her. Both Aric and Lir would do anything to find her because they don’t believe she died. She also found out that her crew were captured and taken to Slipmark where they were being tortured before being killed. Caldonia makes a deal with the Blades. They help her get her crew back and she’ll help them get through the net to safety.
The Blades are nervous going to Slipmark. Not only is a death wish trying to escape, but they have so many bad memories. They are using a Bullet ship that they took over. Seeing the Silt on it was hard. All of the Blades also talk about the torture they went through. The worst coming from someone called Steelhand. The Steelhand created a lot of the things used to torture them, including these containers that fill and empty during the tides. Prisoners are placed in there to thread water for hours or die.
Everything else would probably spoil the book. We do get to see all our old favorites. More people die, including someone I really liked. Caldonia is forced to make decision after decision knowing that some will die so more can live. The guilt gets to her a lot.
I am looking forward to the final book of the trilogy. I gave this book 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. Thank you to Penguin for giving me a copy for review. Quotes are taken from an arc and may change before final publication.
Warnings for addiction, abuse, torture, and death. There is a lot of fighting with guns, other weapons, and hands.
Natalie C. Parker is the author of the Beware the Wild duology, the Seafire trilogy, and the editor of Three Sides of a Heart. She earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati. She grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie where she runs Madcap Retreats with her wife.
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.
But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?
The first in a heart-stopping trilogy that recalls the undeniable feminine power of Wonder Woman and the powder-keg action of Mad Max: Fury Road , Seafire reminds us of the importance of sisterhood and unity in the face of oppression and tyranny.
Follow The Tour:
Week One: Book 1
September 9 – Megan Write Now – Playlist
September 10 – Book Nerd Becky – Creative Instagram Picture
September 11 – Bibliomaniac Amanda – Creative Instagram Picture + Question of the Day
September 12 – As the Book Ends – Listicle
September 13 – Reader Fox – Cover Lover Feature
Week Two: Book 2
September 16 – Megan Write Now – Playlist
September 17 – Book Nerd Becky – Creative Instagram Picture
September 18 – Bibliomaniac Amanda – Creative Instagram Picture + Question of the Day + Bookstagrammer Read Along
September 19 – As the Book Ends – Listicle
September 20 – Reader Fox – Cover Lover Feature
Week Three: Book 2
September 23 – Lauren’s Boookshelf – Moodboard: Inspired by the Series
September 24 – Reading Forevermore – Creative Instagram Picture
September 25 – Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
September 26 – Sarah June Blog – Playlist
September 27 – Gladiator Glory – Inspired by the Book: Makeup Edition