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Henry is a deeply unlikeable protagonist, and not in a fun, hate-to-love kind of way. Self-centred, rude, ignorant, and every other ugly personality trait you could name. He reads more as a 13-year-old than an 18-year-old and considering all of the worldly experience he claims to have, he is incredibly close-minded and basically just dumb. He doesn’t seem to understand what his actions are saying about who he is as a person despite the fact that it blows up in his face over and over again ad nauseam.
Percy is a slightly more likeable character, but only slightly. And I think it’s mostly just because he’s a lot quieter and has the whole underdog narrative going for him.
The only saving grace here is Felicity. She made far too few appearances but each time she was intelligent, thoughtful, and took charge. I mostly kept reading because I’m pretty sure the second book in the series is about her and I assumed I should probably finish this one before starting that.
Honestly, this story had so much potential. Highwaymen and alchemy and piracy… throw in the whole LGBTQ+/YA genres and I was primed to love it. But Henry dragged the whole thing down to sit in the smouldering ruins of his terrible personality. Percy deserves better. Felicity most definitely deserves better. We all deserve better.
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