I received this book for free from agency review pitch in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
on June 24th, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: agency review pitch
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles. The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard. Sophie doesn't know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered...her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay. But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world...or is doomed to exile, in Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica.
At first, I thought this was a middle grade read because of the literal title, but someone saved me from further embarrassment by letting me know that the main protagonist is 24 years old. The synopsis told me of politics and intrigue and scandals, but other than the occasional romp into the sea to find lost treasure, it felt wholly flat for me. I wanted to like it so much, but sadly other than the wonderfully creative world building, the plot and characters weren’t my cup of tea (so to speak).
It started off rather interesting because we find our main character out at sea and not on Earth. At first, I was so confused. I didn’t know what was going on, especially with the glow-in-the-dark moths fluttering everywhere. And then a random lady appears who so happens to be her biological aunt. She finds herself trying to figure out where her biological family is and that takes her to some places that are nowhere near Earth.
The world that was created was super unique where the sea has taken over the land and most countries all have different rules and customs. I loved reading about how each one dressed and how they all had a different custom. An island that tolerated polygamy while the other enforced matrimony. One of the things I didn’t enjoy was the choppy writing. It was too short and it was more of a showing and not telling. I felt bored in some areas because I really couldn’t tell what the end goal for the book was. I felt like there could have been some sort of conspiracy that transpired and it would have made it a lot more interesting plot-wise. I did enjoy having the cast of characters as diverse as a Benetton Ad so that was surprising and wonderful at the same time. I just wished that it showed that same diversity on the cover because I felt he was white-washed.
Overall, if you enjoy a political scandal with a creative world, pick this one up!