cover image Hunt on Dark Waters

Hunt on Dark Waters

Katee Robert. Berkley, $18 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-63908-5

With this delightful series opener, bestseller Robert (Neon Gods) throws together a fun mishmash of tropes to deliver a swashbuckling romantasy that both embraces and subverts expectations. After witch pickpocket Evelyn is unceremoniously dumped by her vampire friend-with-benefits, Lizzie, she steals some of Lizzie’s family heirlooms and flees through a magic portal—only to wind up stranded in the middle of the sea in Threshold, a watery realm that connects to myriad other worlds. She’s rescued by Bowen, telekinetic captain of the pirate vessel Crimson Hag. He gives her the standard offer: join his crew, the fearsome Cŵn Annwn, or be thrown back into the water to die. Reluctantly, Evelyn swears the required loyalty oath, though she’s still determined to find her way home, vows be damned. The initial friction between stubborn witch and resolute captain grows into mutual attraction, but it’s not until they’re stranded alone on an island that they explore this desire. Evelyn and Bowen have considerable chemistry, leading to both entertaining conflict between them and spicy intimate interludes that put Bowen’s telekinesis to good use. Though the worldbuilding occasionally feels a bit thin, the plot is fraught with danger and treachery, keeping the pages turning. This promises more good things to come in future installments. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Nov.)