REVIEW: “Search for the Heart of the Ocean” by A. J. Fitzwater

Review of A. J. Fitzwater, “Search for the Heart of the Ocean”, in Catherine Lundoff, ed., Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) (Queen of Swords Press, 2018): 181-198 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

This story was described in Lundoff’s introduction as “a new installment of [Fitzwater’s] dapper lesbian capybara pirate saga” (p. 6). I can’t say that this naturally inclined me towards the story — despite the fact that I like lesbians, capybaras, AND pirates, the combination seemed…a little farfetched. I’m not against anthropomorphised animals, but I did feel like I spent more effort in the initial stages of the story suspending my disbelief than I would’ve liked; and the use of dialect in the dialogue compounded the feeling of work that went into reading.

Eventually, though, the effort faded away, and I got drawn into the story of Cinrak and the cabin boy Benj and the kraken that Benj befriends, and the heart of the ocean that both Cinrak and the kraken are seeking. There was a lot of beautiful language, and a happy ending. If lesbian capybara pirates tick all your buttons, then this is definitely the story for you.