Tamar by Mal Preet

Tamar by Mal Preet 

Age Rating: 14+

Rating: 10/10 

            There are some books that draw you into a world that feels so real that you can’t question anything, because you’re being pulled so relentlessly into it. That’s exactly how I felt about Tamar, which takes creative license in describing the Nazi occupation of Holland and the allied effort. 

            This story centers around British spies who are helping the resistance and are supposed to relay information back to London about Nazi happenings. Moreso they are supposed to integrate themselves into the scene so they can also help when Holland is finally won over by the Allied war effort. 

            However, it is wrong to say that this centers around the time, because it actually created this beautiful backdrop for the characters to develop and describes what the British spies really went through, addiction, paranoia, and being bored (!) I finished this book in one go, I couldn’t sleep because I just had to finish it. It feels so real, and the author doesn’t hold back on the horrible things the Nazis did, the simple brutalities of every day life, and what’s even better, is that all these mad things that happen just become part of the story, and they don’t feel created because they just fit so seamlessly. Like the marionette shop that also serves as a base for transmissions. It’s beautiful, how Mal Preet manages to create a whole world, genuinely impressing. 

            The ending is so jarring, but it almost makes sense, because its so real. I feel like I’m trying to say the word real in different ways,  because there’s no better way to describe this story. Maybe because it centers around a time that includes something as tragic as the holocaust and the German occupation of Holland, but also the way that each character is multidimensional, though the main characters still remain Tamar and Dart, the English spies who are sent to Holland. 

            Though this does in a way, center around the romance between Tamar and Maarjke, who also hosts the spy, it’s definitely not a romance novel. It is and it isn’t. And when you get to the end, you finally realize everything and understand why each character acted the way they did. It doesn’t have a happy ending depending on what you think. This book makes you rethink the ideals of romance and instead opens you up to the possibility of just life being so real and unrelenting, but also the neutrality of life and its struggles. 

            I think if you enjoy historical fiction, it is very accurate especially in the procedures and the coding of transmissions the author references. I do not recommend this awesome book for people who don’t enjoy possibly sad books. 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE WITH WHAT I SAID, AND IF YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK AS WELL. 

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Piratica by Tanith Lee

Rating: 7/10 

Age: 12+

Piratica By Tanith Lee

Artemesia Fitz-Willoghby Weatherhouse (Art), yes that’s her name, is the brilliant and defiant protagonist in this crazy pirate adventure. Now, I revisited this book after probably (maybe?), 7 years. The very idea of this book is hilarious and charming.

Art loses her Mother (and her memory) at a young age and is sent to live with her rich father, who sends her to finishing school in hopes of putting her straight. However, after 6 years at the academy, she hits her head and regains her memory. This story takes place in the year Seventeen-Twelvety (early 1800’s in our world), so if you’re not into historical fiction, then this book is not for you. But if you are into badass teenage heroines who charm the pants off of everybody (then steals them), this book is.  😉

In these memories, she catches glimpses of her mother’s daring adventures at sea, the most feared pirate in England. She immediately leaves, and in a strange series of events (declaring herself to be Art Blastside), steals from an aspiring singer, makes him a highwayman, and manages to band together her Mother’s old crew and convince them all to steal the ship they are currently ‘working’ on. 

Now, there’s a catch to all this: those memories are true, however they didn’t take place on the high seas but ON A STAGE, and her mother wasn’t a pirate, in fact, neither of them are. They are all ACTORS! 

Still, Art isn’t swayed, and continues down the path with her misfit bunch of actors who have suddenly become the most ‘fearsome’ and ‘troublesome’ pirates on the high seas! *They also have a mysterious map which may or may not yield true treasure!

Go hunting for gold, with Art, and discover a new world, that is slightly distorted from ours, and laugh out loud at the pure Ludacrisy in so many scenes! 

This book is a trilogy, and the first one does start out a bit dry almost, but if you can read the first book, make sure to get through the second and third, which are even more detailed and fantastical! 

I did give it a 7, which is still a high score respectively, however it is a bit dry and shallow, and there is this strange tone the Author takes on whilst writing. However, it could just be that it doesn’t suit my style. 

Series Order

Piratica 

Piratica II Return to Parrot Island 

Piratica III The Family Sea 

Let me know below what you think of this book, if you’ve read it, and if you agree with my rating!

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