The Galaxy Pirates by Zoë Ferraris is an adorable middle grade featuring constellation magic and best friends fighting with pirates! The Galaxy Pirates features really lovely chapter header illustrations and a whole host of magical creatures, so it is sure to please the young reader just getting into fantasy. While The Galaxy Pirates didn’t have that X factor that could make it stand out for adult readers, I’m sure many middle graders will enjoy adventuring amongst the stars.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Galaxy Pirates from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Galaxy Pirates by Zoë Ferraris (The Pyxis #1)
Published by Crown on Aug. 4th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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On the night Emma Garton’s supposedly boring parents are kidnapped, she is forced to face the truth that they’ve been lying to her about many things. The most important of which? They aren’t even from planet Earth.
To find her mom and dad, Emma and her best friend, Herbie, must leave Earth and enter the Strands—the waterways of space, where huge galleons ply the intergalactic seas. But a journey through the constellations won’t be easy—not with every scoundrel in the galaxy determined to find them.
- The magic in The Galaxy Pirates is all based around the constellations, so there are a lot of opportunities for cute references to obscure constellations to come into the story. I found myself wanting to bust out my old skymaps and track down some of the ones I wasn’t as familiar with and I’m sure many sky nerds will get a kick out of the more obscure mentions ;-).
- As the title suggests, The Galaxy Pirates features pirates! Without giving anything away, Emma finds herself riding around with interesting companions and battling against “the law” rather often for an upstanding citizen, ha.
- The Galaxy Pirates has a strong focus on the friendship between Emma and Herbie. They’ve been friends forever, hang out all the time, and make a great team. I loved how neither was really the dominant personality and they both contributed their own skills and knowledge. Herbie is also wonderfully loyal despite the craziness that Emma has dragged him into!
- One of the cool things about Emma’s adventuring through space is that each of the known planets has creatures based on its constellation, so there are dragons and pegasi and many many more fantastical creatures. I really enjoyed seeing a mix of classical fantasy creatures and new interpretations of constellations to keep things interesting.
- The chapter headers of The Galaxy Pirates are based on various constellations and therefore are freaking GORGEOUS! I loved turning the page and seeing a new sketch of a constellation complete with a beautiful sky map in the background.
- While I love the pieces of The Galaxy Pirates, I couldn’t help finding the whole premise of some kind of wormhole connecting all the constellations like waterways that actual sailboats could sail on a bit silly. It’s a cute idea that kids will probably enjoy, but it just doesn’t make really any logical sense even for a fantasy.
- The Galaxy Pirates has a few too many loose ends that aren’t resolved. You know me and quest books: if the quest isn’t accomplished by the end, I’m left a bit adrift ;-).
- There are a lot of things thrown in to The Galaxy Pirates that aren’t covered in enough depth, just sort of thrown into the bag of ideas. Because there wasn’t always logical connections between these different fantasy elements, it left me feeling a bit like I was playing really unique fantasy Madlibs.
The Galaxy Pirates is a cute and fun middle grade for any young reader intrigued by the night sky and/or pirates! It doesn’t have that extra edge needed to really appeal to adult readers of middle grade though, partially because a lot of ideas are thrown together without a lot of logical explanation. You might need to get a copy just to see the chapter illustrations though….
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Galaxy Pirates by Zoë Ferraris
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.