I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
I'm still reading this, slowly. When I'm done I can finally roll again (I haven't actually looked at the new rules yet). I've been tempted to DNF, but I really do want to finish it and review the whole thing. I really need to push - it's technically due on Wednesday, although I have until Saturday if I count the grace period.
Santa Elena has finally decided that they're going to go get Bao, so that Cas will actually be able to fight the way she's been trained to. I hope having Bao back will improve this, even just a little.
Santa Elena just told Cas about how she rescued Code (Cas' predecessor on the ship) from slavers. Code hated pirates and tried to sabotage Santa Elena's ship, but he was caught before he did serious damage. Santa Elena molded him by doing her thing: she made sure the one person on the ship that Code sort of trusted trained him well, and then she promoted Code. It's what she does with all her trainees - she notices which ones have the potential to be problems, and tries bringing them in line by making them part of the ship's competition for her praise and attention and eventually (supposedly) her captaincy. Cas doesn't seem to realize it ("This is the captain I threw my lot in with. The woman who saved a terrified slave boy and gave him a shot at her crown." (89)), but it's what Santa Elena has done with her.
Skrutskie could do some interesting things with the story, if it finally dawned on Cas what Santa Elena was doing to her and the other trainees, but I doubt that's going to happen.