Opal Charm: Hope in Nautical Dusk by Miri Castor


[Edit: Originally published March 4, 2017]

This is not a spoiler free review.

Opal Charm is back with a new adventure! Actually it’s not new per say, but it’s a new segment of her ongoing quest. We get to see Opal working with her powers a lot more than we did in the first book, how she develops and strengthens them. We also get to her her develop alongside her brother Jermaine, who for a large portion of the last book was presumed to be dead. I think Jermaine and Opal’s relationship is probably my favorite familial relationship in the book.

We also get a lot of really excellent world and language building for Athre. Opal ends up working (undercover) in a political/bureaucratic place within the government that they’re working to overthrow. Through this and several other events the politics of this world slowly gets more and more revealed to us. The same happens with language. We get snippets of the Athrenian language and culture through Opal learning them, and they get used again and again after they’re introduced. I always love it when fantasy stories have a language that’s been created for it.

Friendship is such an important theme in Hope in Nautical Dusk, just as much as it was in The Path to Dawn. Aaron and Anza/Hope continue to be these fundamental forces of friendship for Opal, but are also a source of conflict. The friendship between Aaron and Opal and Anza and Opal or crucial to the story both in character development and driving plot and it’s beautifully done.

Queer characters abound! Opal starts figuring out her sexuality (she’s bisexual), Adaeze is asexual and her former romantic partner was a girl. We’ve got two, I repeat, Two trans characters, Hinata and Limbani. Hinata’s a trans man and Limbani is a trans woman. I was super excited about that. I love them both so much.

The only big warning I’d give for this book is that there is pretty major character death. Some of this is reversed by time manipulation but some isn’t.

This book is available for preorder here. It comes out officially March 19th.

Related Reviews: Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn