Hey guys, happy Thursday! 🙂
So I finally finished Blacksouls! Yay! It took me exactly one month to finish it… So not so yay. But anyway, let’s see if it was worth it, shall we?
*** If you’d like to read my review of Blackhearts, the first book in the trilogy, click here.
This review is completely spoiler-free.
- Title: Blacksouls (Blackhearts #2)
- Author: Nicole Castroman
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication Date: April 11th, 2017
- Page Count: 400
This one obviously takes up where the first book left off, but because this is a spoiler-free review, I won’t explain what happened exactly. Just know Teach and Anne’s adventures continue, this time with a much larger cast, great world-building and many plot twists.
After realizing Blackhearts, the origin story, had no actual pirates to speak of (but a lot of romance to keep me entertained) I was very excited to see what the sequel had in store for me.
Pirates! There were pirates in this! Not enough, granted, but I think it was a gradual transition and it made sense for it to be like that.
I enjoyed the steady pace and how it slowly shaped Teach into what he will later become. There were some very clever jabs at his ego, his confidence and his heart, that will most definitely make for a very interesting story later on. I’m excited about it!
From the start, it was easy to tell this one was going to be a lot more plot-driven than Blackhearts. It was a lot more complex, didn’t focus on romance as much (and when I say “not much”, I mean “almost not at all”) and had a lot more stuff going on. There were so many characters with arcs of their own taking place, it was hard to keep up – but in a good way!
The plot twists. THE PLOT TWISTS. They came one after the other, but in a cohesive way. One could easily follow the story, understand how it was progressing, what had served as a catalyst for what, and be thoroughly engaged. A lot of bad things happened in this novel and I felt it in my heart for each and every one of the characters involved.
In the author’s notes, Castroman explained how much she wanted her work to be historically accurate, which brought her to write about slavery and other difficult themes of the late 17th century. She certainly does not sugarcoat these and it made for a very gut-wrenching read at times, but one I certainly welcomed because it made the novel all the more real and fleshed out.
Also, I really loved the bonds both Anne and Teach created along the way, to the point of calling some characters family. It was great to see them having relationships outside of each other.
Blacksouls read a lot slower. I mean, it took me three days to finish Blackhearts. It took me one month to finish this one. I’m not sure if this was me or the book, but I’m betting on the book because I was super pumped from the previous installment and my enthusiasm just kind of died somewhere in the middle. Thankfully, it picked up again halfway through.
You might remember the romance was my favorite part of Blackhearts (and thankfully so, because it was all there was to the prequel anyway) so it might confuse you when I say I didn’t like the romance at all in this one. Teach, in particular, acts like either a jealous idiot or a lovesick puppy during most of his interactions with Anne, and it bored me to death. It felt too forced, ridiculous and unecessary. He was supposed to have grown up from his spoiled self, not reverted to a Neanderthal state.
Which was a shame because, as a character, he was awesome. He was brave, persevering, a caring friend, sensible, clever and a born leader. It was only where Anne was concerned that he seemed to change completely and become this idiotic alpha male I had no patience for. He literally saw red and stopped thinking like a rational human being. Which made me wonder if this relationship was really something that should continue or something that was too unhealthy to bring around any happiness to those involved.
I am conflicted with this one.
I could tell the author’s writing and plotting greatly matured. Yet for a great part of the novel, I was not as engaged as I’d hoped. Which made me a bit sad, because this one was clearly better than the previous one in so many ways, especially when it came to structure.
Plot and character-wise, Blacksouls definitely stood out and made for a much more complex and interesting story than its prequel. It was just very well-constructed, no question about it. Whereas Blackhearts focused on Teach and Anne’s relationship, this one focused on their development as characters and telling a real story. One that was insanely interesting to read once it picked up pace.
The romance was mostly non-existent. Though, in my opinion, it was more of a eye-rolling element than anything else and could have definitely taken a different direction.
Halfway through, there are pirates. But this is still not a full-blown pirate book yet. This is the transition between the origin story and the real tale of how Blackbeard came to be. If that’s not an issue for you, and you like YA, and you are curious to find how this story ends, then I would recommend reading Blacksouls. If not, then maybe this trilogy isn’t for you.
Story & Plot:
Writing & Style:
Check my review of Blackhearts here.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!
What did you think of this review? Have you read Blacksouls? （⋆＾－＾⋆）