Five Books About Unconventional Pirates

Masted ships. The salty tang as a wide blue wave crashes onto a sandy shore. Sweaty, drunk defected sailors hiccupping through bawdy chanties. The pop and snap of a Jolly Roger flag.

Pirates, amiright?

The imagery around these figures (in fiction and nonfiction) evokes vivid tales of buried treasure, running from the Crown, and banning together in a fellowship of scoundrels. No wonder so many novels have leapt off the starboard railing and cannonballed into the endless indigo waters of pirate stories.

But what about the books that turn piracy inside out? The ones that plunk tightly-knit brigands into outer space or chuck scrappy rebels into dystopic high seas?

In my latest book, These Rebel Waves, dozens of rivers divide the fictional island of Grace Loray—rivers that contain much desired botanical magic. With the most valuable objects in the world nestled in riverbeds, the pirates in These Rebel Waves...