I was excited about this book! A reincarnated female pirate who lived the lives of 100 dogs before returning to claim her buried treasure? How different! How unique! How action-packed! Right?
This book is the Neverending Backstory. The first 200 pages are nothing but backstory on the heroine's first miserable life in Ireland and her current miserable life as a high school student. The most piratical action we see is the modern-day incarnation fantasizing about stabbing people with a marlinspike. The writing is unimpressive, the plot both tedious and convoluted, and the characters too flat to provide interest. As for the curse of 100 dogs, it's only focused on in 7 1-2 page episodes that tell some parable about the truths of dog existence. Her 100 lifetimes as a dog have done nothing to shape Saffron, and she isn't living by the morals of the dog tales, so why include them at all? They only serve to add more shock value as most contain tales of the dog's abuse or violent death.
This book contains heavy amounts of animal abuse, child abuse, and rape, perhaps in a futile attempt to create an interesting story. Since the characters are so dull, we are merely left with a book that manages to be slightly obscene as well as completely and unforgivably boring.
While it's a highly decorated YA offering, I honestly cannot imagine many teens bothering to slog through this tedious read, especially when the cover promises so many great things and fails to deliver any of them.
I would never recommend it.