Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert
Review,  Fantasy

Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert

Hunt on Dark Waters is an enjoyable, entertaining, and adventurous portal fantasy with pirates and spicy romance.

Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert

Hunt on Dark Waters (Crimson Sails #1) by Katee Robert

Publication Date : November 7, 2023 

Publisher : Berkley

Read Date : November 17, 2023

Genre : Fantasy Romance / Paranormal

Pages : 336

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclaimer – Many thanks to publishers for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links.


Sail the magical high seas with this first book in a new sexy fantasy romance series from Katee Robert, the New York Times bestselling author of the TikTok smash-hit Neon Gods.

Evelyn is a witch with a perfect storm of impulses: terrible taste in bed partners, sticky fingers, and a lust for danger. After she steals from her vampire ex and falls through a portal to another realm, she’s fished out of the waters by a band of seafarers and their telekinetic captain. She’s immediately given a choice—join their group or die.

Bowen has no memory of his life before he became one of the Cŵn Annwn. He and his pirate crew are bound by vow to patrol through Threshold, the magical sea in between realms, keeping the portals to other worlds safe. When he rescues Evelyn, he doesn’t expect to be attracted to the unflappably brassy pickpocket. The longer he spends in her presence, the more he begins to question if his heart is the next thing she’ll steal.

But as tension heats up between Bowen and Evelyn, danger escalates as well. Because Evelyn has no intention of keeping her vows to the Cŵn Annwn, and if she betrays the crew, both she and Bowen will pay the ultimate price….


Hunt on Dark Waters is adventurous and entertaining pirate romantasy that has witches, vampires, selkies, mermaids, berserkers, elemental magic, telekinesis, dragons… basically every type of magic and every type of fantasy/paranormal creatures.

Plot is filled with action, romance, drama, and spice. Writing is gripping and fast-paced for most of the book with alternative dual perspectives from Evie and Bowen.

Both Evie and Bowen are interesting characters. Evie is a chaotic bisexual witch who still hasn’t gotten over her grandmother’s death. Stealing is her coping mechanism that gets her in lots of trouble but I have to say she is amazing thief but also a reckless mess. What I loved most about her is her soft tender heart. She feels everything on full fledge. She is lively, compassionate, and fiery and I loved how in just few days she changed Bowen and his perspective.

Bowen is a rule-following, grumpy, and stuck-up captain of Crimson Hag who has telekinesis power. He follows the Cŵn Annwn order and rules without question. Crimson Hag has been his life for the past twenty years since he was rescued at age 13 by the previous captain who raised him like his own son. But he doesn’t remember his life prior to Crimson Hag which is a mystery that might be solved in the next books of the series. I felt for him when his whole world turned upside down after Evie’s arrival.

– I liked how Evie helped him see the faults of Cŵn Annwn and made him question the rules and their way of life. Even though his development was good, it felt a bit sudden or rather too fast.

+/- Romance is fast. It’s kind of insta-lust and it felt like they fell for each other pretty quick that might be an issue with some readers but chemistry is hot and I found it pretty interesting the way the author used telekinesis for intimate moments. I thought Evie’s ex coming to hunt her might add a twist to her newfound love but I liked author didn’t give it love triangle angle.

+ World is super interesting and unique. I loved the idea of Threshold where all the realms connect through portals which is ruled by the Cŵn Annwn. The Threshold has many islands, some are permanent while others are disappearing islands and each of them has portals. They inhibit both normal humans and different paranormal species. I wish there was a map in the book. Apparently, characters have it but readers don’t which makes it hard to figure out where Evie was saved and was taken on Crimson Hag and which island was where.

+ I enjoyed the details on the Cŵn Annwn, how it’s made up of the council and its pirate captains who slaughter monsters on the council’s order, their rules, and their consequences. There is some of the history of Cŵn Annwn, how it was formed but we don’t have it all in this book. It felt the author has left some of the part to be explored in upcoming books which I can’t wait to read.

+/- The second half focuses more on the theme and layers of the real monsters of the world, loss and grief, moving on from the past, finding purpose in life, and righting the wrong. While I liked the way they were represented there is lots of repetition and rumination in this part that slowed the pace and dragged the plot.

+/- The climax is action-packed and tense. I liked how it gave a new twist to the story and gave it new direction that will be followed in next book of the series. End was good but I didn’t feel the thrill in that final fight.

Overall, Hunt on Dark Waters is an enjoyable, entertaining, and adventurous portal fantasy with pirates and spicy romance.

You might enjoy Hunt on Dark Waters if you like,

Pirate fantasy
Portal fantasy
Spicy romance
Captive/captor trope
Bisexual main character
Dark Paladin Pirate
Witch, Vampire, telekinesis, elemental magic

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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