ARC Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

“Sometimes, it’s the most destructive storm that brings life.”

Rating: 3/5 stars
Format: Physical copy
Release Date: September 3, 2019

Thank you Wednesday Books for sending me a finished copy!


Synopsis

42867937For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again―a home.


The Verdict

Back in the day Sky in the Deep was one of the first books I ever talked about on here and I adored everything about it. From the world-building, to the action, to the romance, the clans, and all of the characters, I LOVED it. It was my first five star read of 2018 and really set my reading year off to a great start. So, when I found out we were getting a companion novel to Sky in the Deep set in the future following Fiske’s younger brother Halvard, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, because of that I think I may have overhyped myself for this one.

In usual Adrienne Young fashion you an definitely expect to be thrown back into her super atmospheric viking world. There’s no denying that she nails the world I fell in love with this one once again. And the battle scenes? They still make my heart race like crazy. Granted, they weren’t as intense as Sky in the Deep’s battle scenes but they were still extremely enjoyable and had me on the edge of my seat.

So, where was this lacking for me?
  1. The characters. I remember loving Halvard in SiTD, and don’t get me wrong there’s nothing that makes him unlovable in this book, but there also isn’t really anything that makes him lovable either. I felt little to no connection to Halvard or Tova in this and considering how much I loved Eelyn and Fiske in book one this was a tough pill to swallow. There were also so many side characters thrown into this that it made my head spin and none of them were lovable except for one.
  2. The length of this. This is a relatively quick read coming in at just over 300 pages. But with the introduction of so many new, semi-meaningless characters it felt waaaaay too jam packed. I think if this was a little longer it could have helped soften the blow of the information overload we got.
  3. The pacing. This story really doesn’t take off until the 35% mark because it spends too much time with the introductions. By the time it picked up I was bored and then the story settles back down only to resolve in the last 20 or so pages. I was expecting the non-stop heart-pounding action we got in SiTD and besides the two or three short battle scenes we got in this story there just wasn’t much to be found causing the plot to drag.

Favorite Quotes

“I was among the first generation that didn’t live to fight in a blood feud. And now, a wound that would never heal had been torn back open. I’d grown up the son of a healer, but no one could mend a break like that.”

“Nothing was sure until death came.”

“There will always be war, Halvard. War is easy. It comes again and again, like waves to a shore. But I loved most of my life driven by hate, and I don’t want that for my grandchildren. Or yours.”

All in all, even though this didn’t live up to my expectations I still did enjoy my time back in this world. Especially the quick glimpses we were given of Evelyn and Fiske together. My heart was so content for them and they will always be my favorites. I’m still super excited for any books that Adrienne Young will continue to put out in the future, but I’m definitely ready for a new world to read about after this one.

Until next time,

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

  1. Great review! I still haven’t read SiTD because I heard such mixed reviews about it I was worried I wouldn’t like it. But I’ve been hearing a lot more positive reviews now so I think I’ll have to go buy it. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one too but it seems like SiTD was much more enjoyable!

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