Pacifica is an action filled novel-- but that's not the thing that really sets it apart and pulls the reader into the dystopian world of Pacifica. What really sets this book apart and lifts it up and beyond is its characters.
Ross, the boy prince with the heart of gold. He's made up of good intentions and always unconsciously just sees the best in people. He's literally such a sweetheart and while the sweethearts aren't usually the ones who steal my heart in books, Ross really won me over. He's trusting, good natured and possesses an unseen disability-- one that he has never told anyone about because he's the president's son. He has to be perfect. And wow, his imperfections really just made him more perfect and more realistic in my eyes.
Then there's Marin. The girl from the slums and a pirate at that. Her father raised her to be cruel, to be cunning-- and that's all really anyone ever sees of her, if they even bother to look past the poor clothes and the grime. She's such fun protagonist, really all you could ever want in one-- clever and self-made, having worked for what she has and what she is.
And a third character that is hardly seen in the book, but whose presence is highly important, is Adam, Ross's best friend and son of the vice president. But there's more to him than what meets the... well, not eye, the outwardly description. See, Adam and his family is from the slums, and he's never really fit in with any of the people in Ross's circle. The gap between the rich and the poor is gargantuan, and the disdain the aristocrats feel towards those from the slums is colossal. The only one to have ever accepted Adam is Ross. Their friendship is what drives the book-- after all, if Adam had never been taken, Ross would've never gone on a fantastical journey with Marin to find him.
The relationship between the characters is phenomenal. Adam and Ross's friendship is the epitome of what everyone wishes their friendships could be. Ross quite literally is willing to go to the ends of the Earth to find Adam and bring him back to safety. While this relationship is already established before the book begins, as you progress through the book, you get to see and understand more of their friendship-- which makes you able to love it even more.
Then there's Marin and Ross's relationship. This is one that doesn't exist before the start of this book and you really get to watch it build and become something beautiful throughout the book. I quite literally fell in love with them and their reactions with each other. Sure, the romance takes a back burner to the plot, but it is still there, and wow, the tension is real.
Of course, though the characters and their relationships are what elevates the book to become something truly remarkable, the plot is also quite action-filled and thrilling. It was exciting and fun and AH. This book is truly everything you could hope to find. It may have a tweed bit of a slow start, but once you get into it, you're in and it's three AM.
8/10 stars, this book was truly a work of art. Wow, I can't even express in words how taken I was by this story and these characters. I'm pretty sure that a reread is on the horizon quite soon, because I'm ready to be taken back into this world. It's unusual to read a standalone novel and get this attached, but here I am, still quite enraptured with the novel. Yes, you heard me-- it's a standalone. I actually didn't realize this when going into it, I assumed it would be a series like basically any other action book you'd pick up in the store... But it's not, which is amazing because it was able to create and wrap up an enthralling story in a satisfying manner-- but it's also a little disappointing, because I could use more books with these characters. At least I can be comforted in knowing that they're probably happy-- a new book would mean new troubles. Anyway, I hope you all give this book an opportunity and then proceed to enjoy it as much as I did/do.
Marin is corsario 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.