Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.

running close to the windAvra Helvaçi, former agent of the Arashti Ministry of Intelligence, is a lucky man. It’s all a bit spooky how things always seem to go his way. Like he’s accidentally stolen the single most valuable secret in the world. The only way he’ll find a buyer for such a secret, is via the pirates. Lucky for him, his on-again, off-again ex is Captain Teveri az-Haffar. Unlucky for Teveri, they are not particularly happy to see him again so soon.

I thought about how I had the most valuable secret in the world giving me paper cuts on my nipples because I’d shoved it down my shirt.

The first thing to know is Running Close to the Wind is entirely ridiculous. Humour is very subjective and this didn’t always hit the right spot for me, but it was worth reading for the cake competition alone!

When Avri returns to the ship, he finds Teveri has hired a sexy new member of crew, a mysterious monk. He’s a little jealous, but also he cannot believe a celibate monk can be that sexy and also a pirate. He must have some secret, and Avri will use his wiles (unsuccessfully) to find out.

A poet’s whole job is to celebrate sluts and cry about beautiful things coming to tragic, untimely ends!

It’s very sex positive. Avra wants to have sex with his captain and with Brother Julian. It seems at times he’s happy to have sex with anyone. Since Julian is celibate, it was a bit close to harassment that Avra would keep going about it, trying to tempt him to break his vows.

I still don’t really know what makes a dildo spooky. Is it scary? Themed? Magic? There’s also a spooky dentist mentioned a fair bit. I felt like an old person not understanding what the kids are saying!

You’re being very spooky right now, and I would like to ask you, as a friend, if you’ve been possessed by any ghosts, bitten by any rabid glowing dogs, or experimenting with any new drugs?

The cake competition is a bit random, I’ll admit. Teveri’s crew is hired to guard a cake, but that’s not the only responsibility. No, they must also never be heard whispering a word of praise for any of the other competitor’s cakes, so they go round insulting them at every opportunity. Pirates take their cakes very seriously!

Running Close to the Wind is published by Tor and will be available on 13th June in hardback, ebook and audiobook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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