Pages: 320 (paperback)
Published: February 2009 by Flux
Recommended for: readers looking for a wacky thrill ride with a dark, simultaneously contemporary and historical feel
Saffron is a far cry from your average trailer-park dwelling teenage girl. She was born with the memories of 100 dogs-- and one rebellious, half-crazy teenage pirate-- vested within her, along with knowledge of the hidden location of the glorious treasure she in her past life as Emer the pirate buried centuries ago on a remote Jamaican beach. After high school graduation, Saffron forgoes her parents' firm wishes for her to attend college and takes off on an unexpected 'gap year' adventure. It's a gap year that will last her the rest of her life, if Emer has her way-- and her pirate booty (yep, I just went there) which will make her rich beyond her wildest dreams.
Saffron's narrative is threaded through with the story of Emer Morrisey, the Irish girl she once was, who was sold by her own uncle following the massacre of her village by Cromwell's Roundheads and who soon escaped to the Caribbean to lead the life of a pirate. Saffron has learned a lot from Emer's loss of her true love and first mate, not to mention the lessons taught via the lives of 100 dogs, and she's determined not to make the same mistakes again... even if the dastardly, mad villains who cursed Emer the first time around have been reincarnated into human form again, as well.
All of that is a lot less confusing and baffling than I make it sound like, trust me. AS King has taken a rather bizarre premise and turned it into a fantastically fast-paced, adventurous romp of a novel. I liked Saffron, but I loved Emer and her history. She truly has the pirate heart: reckless, ambitious, proud, passionate, and maybe a wee bit mad. The climaxes of both storylines come together in a shocking and utterly unpredictable grand finale showdown between Emer and an obsessed Frenchman, and Saffron and his reincarnation, a madman whom is determined to keep her from regaining her treasure and her life. I loved this book-- though dark in humor and tone, it's truly a fun and thought-provoking read. The cover, I must say, is also one of my all time favorites.
All-around Rating: 5/5