2008 Books #24: Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key, by Kage Baker
I'm going to BayCon very soon indeed, and since it will have a pirate theme and Kage Baker will be there, Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key leapt off my bookshelf at me and tried to sit on my shoulder like a parrot. I convinced the book to let me read it instead of keeping it as a pet. It's a short novel about the well-meaning John James, whose attempt to get out of piracy quickly turns out not at all the way he'd planned. I've never read a Kage Baker book I didn't like. She develops characters beautifully, making them vivid and distinct, and brings in her dry sense of humor, too, making it look easy to tell a great story and be funny--when of course it really isn't. There's a bit of magic involved in the story, enough to make it qualify as a fantasy, but that isn't what the book is really about; it mostly adds something interesting to one of the characters, alongside the central events. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes to read fiction, and especially to those who like pirates.