It’s a pirate’s life for Lintang.
For Lintang, humans and “mythies,” magical powerful creatures, tensely coexist. (A creature profile foreshadows some chapters.) Inspired by legends, Lintang yearns for adventure beyond her home island of Tolus. However, she only manages to make trouble despite good intentions and warnings from best friend Bayani. Her fortune turns when the infamous pirate captain Shafira appears, offering to rid the island of a deadly Night Terror in exchange for a child from the village—a necessity for a ship’s safe passage past Nyasamdra, the island’s sea guardian. Impressed by Lintang’s spunk, Shafira takes the girl onboard, promising a safe return and a priceless necklace to Lintang’s mother as collateral. The all-female pirate crew prepares to hunt sirens when attacks from mythies and a stowaway Bayani—as a boy, vulnerable to sirens’ calls—reveal a more complicated history. A bigger adventure ensues. Lintang’s impulsive tendencies push the plot along, at times frustratingly so. Moss models characters and worldbuilding after aspects of Southeast Asian cultures and Indonesian myths in addition to Western folklore and her own imagination. Inconsistencies coupled with the lack of a cohesive cultural system lead to disjointed details that detract from the story. Several twists provide a peak in intrigue and possibilities but in the end generate more questions than answers, hinting at a sequel.
An imaginative premise ill-served by its execution. (Fantasy. 10-12)