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Kristen Simmons, bestselling author of the Article 5 series, writes a thrilling and powerful tale in PACIFICA, a new standalone dystopian-fantasy novel.

Marin has spent her entire life sailing the seas as cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Her glory days as a cosario are long past, though, and nowadays, Marin is forced to scavenge through piles of junk and to sell drugs to the elite members of society in order to make a living. When her latest dealings go completely wrong, however, Marin is out of cash and willing to do whatever it takes in order to make back her living and restart her cosario days.

Ross has lived a life of safety and privilege as the son of the president. But when an adventure presents itself to him, Ross gladly takes it on as he recruits his best friend Adam to sneak out to watch the violent riots between the poor Shorlings and the rich Kanshu. Things don’t go as planned, though, when Adam is mistakenly arrested and shipped off to the unknown seas. With not even his father willing to help him, Ross is desperate to save Adam, and if it takes making a deal with a pirate, then so be it.

"Breathtaking world, intense pacing  and authentic characters....Kristen Simmons has crafted a truly phenomenal and impactful dystopian novel that will be impossible for readers to forget."

Through Marin, Ross sees a way to save his best friend. Through Ross, Marin sees a very high ransom for the son of the president. But while stuck in the middle of the ocean, Marin has to decide whether she’s willing to hand over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.

It has been forever since I’ve read a dystopian novel that has consumed me as much as PACIFICA has. This novel blew all of my expectations and is by far the best pirate-related novel that I’ve ever read. After just a few pages, the plot had me completely enamored, and the pacing was perfection. Dystopian and fantasy standalones tend to have many pacing issues due to attempts to cram everything in, but Simmons managed to keep the plot and pacing consistent throughout the entire novel and wrapped up the ending flawlessly.

Simmons has built a spectacularly vivid and fascinating world in this novel. The amount of history behind the world of PACIFICA is unimaginable. PACIFICA is set in the year 81 PM (Post-Melt), or rather the year 2193, and the majority of Earth has become uninhabitable due to environmental conditions. Lately, there seems to be a trend in dystopian books where the environment has been decimated by humans, but Simmons’s version of our possible future is unlike any one I’ve ever seen before.

The characters of PACIFICA were incredibly well-written and absolutely wonderful. I can’t remember the last time that I genuinely loved a novel’s main protagonists as much as I loved Marin and Ross. Marin was a strong, determined and magnificent heroine, while Ross begins the story as this clueless rich boy who manages to turn into a charming, passionate and loyal character. It wasn’t just Marin and Ross who were amazing characters, however. Each one of the characters in this story was complex and three-dimensional, and there wasn’t a single person who didn’t contribute their own spark to the story.

The relationships developed throughout PACIFICA were also truly standout to me. Everything from the romance to the friendships to the family relations was so intricate. Ross and Marin’s relationship begins off as pretty rocky; however, as they spend more time together, they begin to open up to each other and their interactions become so natural and sweet to watch. Ross and Adam also have one of the most heartfelt friendships that I have ever seen. They are both undyingly loyal to each other, and Adam brings out the best in Ross, which just made their entire bromance even more adorable. Both Marin and Ross have very complicated relationships with their families. Marin’s family are a bunch of pirates who she hasn’t seen in years while Ross’s dad is the president of the North American Alliance and has a lot of sketchy things going on behind the scenes, which all made for an extremely compelling read.

With its breathtaking world, intense pacing  and authentic characters, PACIFICA is the perfect novel for fans of The Diabolic and Hunger Games series. Kristen Simmons has crafted a truly phenomenal and impactful dystopian novel that will be impossible for readers to forget.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on March 13, 2018

by Kristen Simmons