Ahoy, matey, get on board for an adventure on the high seas! But for Cecily Hastings, in Stephanie Eding’s Unanchored, it’s not an adventure. It’s just more slavery when she was on the brink of escaping that life. What’s more, she gets gambled away to the most feared and infamous buccaneer on the high seas, Captain Finnegan Worley. At their first port, she runs with every intention of alerting the Royal Navy and escaping to freedom. Then she witnesses the last thing she ever expected: Captain Worley’s liberating slaves! Impossible. Or is it? Recaptured and taken back aboard, Cecily determines to solve the enigma of his apparent humanitarianism and learns things about the man behind the pirate she’d never believed possible. When the Navy picks up their trail, she must decide: will she fight by Captain Worley’s side or turn him over for the chance at her own freedom?
Anton Chekhov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass” (Google). This, Stephanie does masterfully, so you get sucked into Cecily’s head and character from the first line. She goes onto weave a fantastic tale of danger and discovery, surprise and sacrifice. The prose had me salivating, it was written so well, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out if Cecily would get away. I was nearly as surprised as she was when Captain Worley liberated those slaves. The characters are so real and alive, and the adventure is nonstop.
The only complaint is the abrupt end, though maybe it’s a sign of more to come in this world. Only Stephanie knows!
Unanchored is a tale told with passion and guts and rawness that teens can appreciate, and parents will appreciate the cleanliness and moral elements. Really, though technically a young adult novel, it’s a great read for all ages, adults included. If you love pirates and a high-stakes, driven plot, Unanchored is a marvelous book to read!