YA Review. Note: This is the last "summer" review I'll do this this year.
We haven't read the first book, just this one. My 16-year-old daughter liked it and enjoyed the pirate second half of the story, but said she would have preferred to see it end with the main character actually working toward becoming a doctor. It is fantasy, as she pointed out, after all.
Felicity Montague turns down a baker's proposal of marriage to try and lie her way into a London hospital's doctor training program. She doesn't get in, of course, because a) she lied and b) she's a girl. Unfortunately, she throws an epic fit on the way out, just as the board of directors would expect a woman to do. In so doing, she arouses the empathy of a doctor at the hospital who refers her to a possible position as an assistant with her idol and childhood best friend's fiance, Dr. Alexander Platt.
Unfortunately Felicity is dead broke and Dr. Platt is in Germany. To get to Germany where Dr. Platt is waiting to marry her friend, Johanna, she must board a ship. She teams up with a pirate's daughter, Sim, who "promises" not to steal anything from Johanna's house once they arrive. Ahem. Right.
Felicity trustingly meets with Dr. Platt and asks after the position and her hopes are cruelly dashed. She learns Dr. Platt has a poor opinion of women, and even his plan to marry Johanna hides nefarious intentions. She catches Sim rifling through Johanna's desk and well...all her plans go to heck in a handbasket. Again.
Except Johanna's not planning on getting married. The next morning she disappears. She and Dr. Platt are in hot pursuit of her dead mother's map of sea dragon nests in the Mediterranean, which is what Sim was trying to steal back. Felicity, Johanna and Sim race to find her and the map and keep it out of Dr. Platt's hands.
I won't spoil how it ends! It was a fun read and one of the very few books I've read written in first person present tense that was done super-duper well. An example to keep by my writing table!