These Rebel Waves
Author: Sara Raasch
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
I’m going to start off this review by saying if you’re looking for a high seas pirate adventure this isn’t the book you’re looking for. If you’re interested in political intrigue, magic, deception, looming war and scientific experiments then this is that book.
These Rebel waves was an interesting read. It took me a while to get interested and invested in the story, about 130ish pages. This was my own fault for thinking there would be great pirate adventures and there weren’t any which is why it took me a while to get into it. But once I was into it I really enjoyed the book and the characters. The story is told from three third person points of view: Lu, Vex and Ben who are all very different but have similar goals and their fates intertwine to maybe save the world.
The book has a pretty cool concept with the magic system and the adventure the characters find themselves on but I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it either. The writing was great and the world building wasn’t bad. But, I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what Lu is supposed to look like, I may have missed it but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t described well. Another thing that was lacking was the explanation for the magic system. Magic in this world is plant based but other than that its not explained besides if you’re caught using magic you’ll most likely be killed for it.
The book follows these three characters as they wind their way through a political nightmare of trying to peacefully stop the looming threat of war and the eradication of an entire group of people, while trying not to die in the process. Lu and Vex are on a mission to find a missing politician that appear to have been abducted but she thinks something more is going on.
Adeluna ‘Lu’ is a soldier from the previous war mentioned in the book and shes a politicians daughter. Lu has many secrets about her time as a child soldier during the war, we get to see these secrets slowly unravel to paint a larger picture about whats going on and her true motivations about finding the missing politician. Lu is strong, intelligent, naive, short sighted and hot headed. Not only does Lu wish to find the missing politician she’s hoping to find a cure for the shaking sickness that comes on suddenly and takes lives.
Deveroux ‘Vex’ Bell is a pirate who illegally gathers and sells magic plants on the black market. He’s a notorious stream raider and a wanted man. When he lands himself in a holding cell on Grace Loray his plan quickly turns on him and he finds himself facing a terrifying fate. However, he manage to escape and sets out on an adventure with Lu to find this missing politician. Vex is an incredibly mysterious character, we don’t know a lot about him until the end of the book. He’s tough, sassy, intelligent and has many resource at his disposal.
The last POV is Benat ‘Ben’ who happens to be the Prince of Argrid, hes also a Heretic. Being a Heretic is dangerous because people usually loose their lives. Ben lives in a place where religion is the end all be all, if the religion says something it must be true. And this religion doesn’t allow heretics, its frowns upon magic and the King wants to eradicate all of those who use magic or sell magic, like the raiders. Ben being the Prince is given a special direct order from the King to find a cure for a sickness that’s plaguing the land, but there seems to be an ulterior motive to the kings request. Ben is gay, he’s in a m/m relationship with one of his guards, hes intelligent a heretic and doesn’t believe in the religion he was raised to believe in.
The most interesting things about this book was the concept of magic but I was a little let down because of the lack of explanation. I think that using the magical plants to help fix illnesses and disease is wonderful and I’d like to see more of that experimentation in the next book. Just an FYI there is a bit of human experimentation going on so if you’re disgusted by that, heads up! The other interesting part was basically Vex, he is such a mysterious character and there’s still so much we don’t know about him. There is a lot of wonderful, funny banter between Vex and Lu and I can’t wait to see how their friendship and relationship develops.
I know a lot of people are interested in this book because of gay pirates but let me make this very clear, there are NO gay pirates in this book. You’ll be sorely disappointed. There is a m/m relationship that takes place but other than that at least in the first book there aren’t any other LGBT characters.
Overall the concept was interesting and I’d like to see more explanation and development in the second book.
This is definitely a book for anyone who likes politics, deceit, war and interesting characters.