Cover Image: Tell No Tales

Tell No Tales

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Member Reviews

I have just been given permission to read and review this book.. However, I cannot access the file, it is not downloading to my NetGalley shelf and the email address provided bounces back as incorrect.
Unsire how to progress from here.
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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this graphic novel.

Rating; 2.5 stars

“Tell No Tales” was by far one of my most anticipated graphic novels of 2021, unfortunately, I ended up not liking this as much as I thought I would. I think a lot of my frustration comes from the formatting of the arc. It had no colour and most of the time the text and images were pixelated, meaning it was very hard to get through. 

But mostly, nothing made sense to me. The plot was oddly paced, the characters underdeveloped. I found myself frowning throughout the whole thing because it just made no sense. 

While this ended up not being my cup of tea, I can definitely see why people would love this one! I may try and get my hands on a finished copy at some point once it releases.
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Thank you for granting me a copy of this to read. I really enjoyed the story and the artwork although it was quite difficult to read on my kindle!
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This was a quick, fun read! I had a bit of trouble following the story and keeping track of the characters at first, but once the plot got going, it all came together very nicely. The small sections focusing on each character really let the reader get to know the whole crew, and though Anne remains the star of the show throughout, each member of the crew is given their own time to shine. I really appreciated the epilogue about the real history behind the story - it was so interesting to see where the inspiration came from for different parts of the story!
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This was a fun retelling of the story of female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. The art style was fun and I enjoyed the sarcastic narrative style. 

When pirates start disappearing from the seas, Bonny and her crew take it upon themselves to put a stop to it. They all have to overcome their own personal demons to pull together a plan to face down the danger.
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A fun exploration of the infamous female pirates of history. The art is expressive and engaging and the story was adventurous and so fun. Hope this is the start of a series.
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A super imaginative graphic novel about queer pirates with characters based on real figures from history! Anne Bonny captains La Sirene with Mary Read at her side. Calico Jack makes an appearance as well in this wildly entertaining story. La Sirene is on the run from the mysterious Woodes Rogers and deciphering Anne's recurring dream might be the only way to stop him.
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The story was fun and the drawings were really cute!  I would have liked for it to be less "modern".  I understand that sometimes it's cool to make a historical book more 20th century, but I felt like it detracted from the atmosphere of the book.  My daughter and I went into it thinking it was more of a nonfiction type book since she's currently into learning everything there is to know about pirates; but it was more of a fantasy read.  The poop emoji to sensor bad words was also a strange choice and kind of jarred us out of the story.
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A fictionalized account of the pirate Anne Bonny, this latest graphic novel from Sam Maggs is an adventure-packed treat for fans of stories like The Nameless City and Compass South. I loved the strong fem energy, of a pirate crew fighting to maintain their freedom and to be their own people. I also thought Maggs’ notes on the historical aspects of the story were great, and the bibliography gives young people a chance to dive further into the stories of behind these characters.

I did have a couple criticisms, however. One, I felt like the story jumped in a little too quickly; we could have used more background into what was happening in the beginning, rather than scattered throughout. (Though I will say that I felt less lost as more of everyone’s stories were revealed, so in the end the problem resolved itself.) Two, while referring to enslaved people as “slaves” within the story is historically accurate, I hope the notes will be changed to reflect correct terminology before publication.

Otherwise, a solid adventure full of strong fem characters; young people are sure to enjoy this one.
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LGBT+ graphic novel about female pirates?  Aw yes.  However, while the premise was intriguing, the overall novel was a disappointment.  The poop emoji?  Come on, now.
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Usually I am a huge fan of historical fiction but I found this book confusing and somewhat shallow in the story. The crew is described as being all female but two of the characters are extremely masculine and I found myself distracted by the implied sexual orientation innuendo that weved itself throughout the story. While this may have been the intention,  I feel that certain scenes or characters could have been reworked to make it more Elementary grade appropriate.
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Sailing across the southern seas with her fierce and quick-witted crew, captain Anne Bonny is living any pirate's dream. But her days of daring adventures and fighting for equality are jeopardized when a new enemy arises—and he’s bent on putting all piracy to an end. With danger on the horizon, Anne and her fearsome crew must band together to hopefully live to sail another day.  

Inspired by real-life women pirates, Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas is a historical graphic novel set in the 1700s featuring a diverse cast of swashbuckling characters. At times, the story feels more like a high-fantasy adventure than historical fiction, as the plot includes clairvoyant dreams and magic alongside a commentary on gender, colonialism, and income inequality. I thoroughly enjoyed the queer romance between Anne and her quartermaster, Read, as well as the overall bond between the crew as a whole. Tell No Tales shone brightest for me in the fluffy, domestic moments, when this rag-tag group of pirates was just a quirky family trying to look out for one another. While I was given an uncorrected proof, so the illustrations were in black-and-white, each character is designed with a unique attention to detail, bestowing them with personality and charm from appearance alone. 

In the end, I only wished for a slightly more cohesive and well-paced plot. Each member of Anne’s crew has a distinct and complex backstory which are individually explored in separate ‘side quests’ as the main narrative progresses. While each and every one of them deserves page-time, with only around 150 pages to flesh out characters and fight the bad guy, the story feels rushed at points and stagnant at others, resulting in an imbalance between exposition and forward-moving plot. Moreover, very little time is spent interacting with the main villain—Woodes Rogers— besides the crew’s first and last encounters with him. Despite learning about Rogers’ rise to villainy in flashback, he ends up feeling more like a one-dimensional, distant threat for much of the story.

Overall, Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas is a spunky graphic novel showcasing the power of found family, the magnificence of female pirates, and the timeless allure of high-seas adventure. 

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
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I'm disappointed to say I liked the historical notes that came at the end more than I enjoyed the actual story. Yay for real historical figures, yay for lesbian pirates, everything else..I could have done without (using the poop emoji to censor swear words, etc).
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Mixing historical and fictional characters in an exciting and fun graphic novel of daring pirates that show loyalty,bravery and teamwork.
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What a delightful romp in a children's historical fiction pirate landscape! Full of fantastic characters and just the right amount of silliness will be highly recommended to fans of historical fiction and those who may be reluctant readers.
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I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. I really wanted to like this, the synopsis sounded really interesting. I love the concept of a graphic novel about pirates, but I just couldn’t get into this book.  I felt like it was missing something.  I also felt that the characters were lacking and it was hard to tell who was who. The poop emoji felt out of place in a historical fiction graphic novel. I appreciate the illustrations and can’t wait to see it in paper form. I liked the historical context at the end because it cleared up what was going on in the story and the background that I was looking for. I think the length of the book is perfect for younger readers as it is intended for.
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I wanted to like this graphic novel, but I couldn't get past the twenty-first century lens through which the author filtered everything about history. The language and concepts that the characters use are very contemporary, especially in regards to social justice issues, and in one speech bubble, there was a poop emoji. Is this the new clever way to censor a word instead of putting in asterisks? There's a chance that this element will change before publication, since I read this book as an uncorrected proof, but... WHY? This story is set in the 1700s! People did not use emojis in my childhood, but I'm supposed to suspend disbelief about an emoji in a book set prior to the American Revolution? The telegraph wasn't even invented yet, let alone texting!

If my library gets a finished copy of this book, I would be interested to flip through it again and see what changed before publication. Hopefully the emoji will be gone, and I'm sure that it will be easier to keep track of the characters when they are depicted in color, with recognizable costumes. With the unfinished, black and white sketches, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, and which backstory belonged to which character. It's possible that this is a problem with the storytelling, but I think that I would have had a different experience if the characters had been depicted in color, as they will be in the finished product.

Overall, this story is creative, with its fictional take on some real-life female pirates, but even though I wanted to enjoy it, nothing about this worked for me. I struggled to keep up with the characters, the story seemed a bit overzealous and cluttered with different side plots, and I couldn't suspend my disbelief past the incredibly heavy-handed, twenty-first century messages about feminism and gender fluidity. Also, the villains are completely one-dimensional, and this book celebrates piracy without an honest reckoning with the violence involved.

The historical note in the back correctly explains that part of why pirates were so hated, feared, and reviled is because members of the establishment mounted an effective negative PR campaign against them. The British Navy found the pirates' peer equality and democratic leadership style threatening to their abusive and hierarchical system, and pirates also challenged the status quo by pillaging from colonists who had gotten their gain unjustly. However, even though all of this is true, pirates were incredibly violent against those outside of their crews, and the book also elevates stealing from the wealthy in general, not just those who have ill-gotten gain.

Even though this book is supposed to illumine a different side of history, it is incredibly one-dimensional. It celebrates pirates as fabulous, boundary-breaking, and totally modern, without recreating the past in any real or meaningful sense. I got very tired of all the strong messages about how great it was that the pirates stole, and how brave and fabulous they were. It's important to look at history from a balanced perspective, instead of only listening to the powerful and victorious, but this book makes absolutely no effort at providing nuance about the realities of piracy in the 1700s.

I probably would have enjoyed this more if it had been set in a fantasy world, and hadn't been intended to resemble reality. There were so many fantastical elements in this book that this would have worked well, but instead, I am just a grumpy history major, negatively comparing this to the nuanced, incredibly interesting journal article that I read about piracy a couple years ago.

I wish that I could review this positively. Since I love adventurous graphic novels with strong female characters, I thought that this would be great, and I never would have requested this from NetGalley if I had known that I would have to give it such a negative review at the very beginning of its release to the world. But, alas, this was too unhistorical, abrasively woke, and one-dimensional for me to give it more than two stars.
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I enjoyed the mix of history and fantasy presented in this book. I also really appreciated that after the story it is clarified which characters are designed around historical figures and how their lives in this story differed from the lives of these historic counterparts.  The plot is kind of simple which allows the story to really highlight each of the crew members and their personal history leading to their life of piracy.

 I liked the depiction of Anne and Mary’s relationship being romantic and loving; they are a great example of an age appropriate LGBTQ couple. All of the crew members were engaging and I enjoyed the dynamic of the crew as a whole. The art is cute and I liked the character designs, the clothes helped highlight the character’s backgrounds. The characters really shone in the book and made me want to read more about their adventures. I wish this book had a bit more substance to the story as overall it was a lot of exposition but it was a very enjoyable way to meet all the important characters and learn about this fascinating period of history.
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