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When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching NBC comedy shows, playing video games, and eating ice cream cake. While it’s true that I'm currently working on a zombie novel, don’t let that fool you. I am decidedly Team Unicorn.
on Feb. 06, 2015 :
*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for the book tour.*
To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Of Sea and Stone because I've never heard of this book before I signed up for this tour. While I must admit that what drew me to this book in the first place was the cover, I also thought the blurb seemed promising so I signed up for a review copy. And boy, I'm just so glad I did.
Of Sea and Stone is an impressive story set in a fantasy underwater world. It follows Aemi, a slave in the Village of the Rocks, who suddenly finds herself in the mercy of Itlanteans, the sea people – stuff of legends no one but a crazy old man believes. Wrenched from the only home she’s ever known and trapped in a city deep under the ocean, Aemi struggles to find a way to escape and find her mother’s home. With just an old nemesis to help her, she uses her wit and cleverness to explore the secrets of the deep. If only escape is that simple . . .
I definitely enjoyed reading Of Sea and Stone. It has the right amount of drama, mystery, humor, romance and intrigue that hooked me until the very last page and left me wanting for more. I practically devoured this book. I actually read it twice because it’s that good! The start is a bit slow, but it gets better. The writing is generally smooth, although there are bits of inconsistencies here and there. I didn’t mind those minor lapses that much because I was engrossed. Some aspects I’d like to emphasize are the following:
Strong heroine. I liked Aemi. She’s smart and determined. She’s feisty, but she knows when to show her tough side and when to shut up and observe from the sidelines. And when she sets her mind on a goal, she does everything to achieve it. It’s also easy to sympathize with Aemi. Being a slave all her life, she only had one friend: Kit. So when she met Tob, Mella and Lyssia and eventually formed friendship with them, she was confused and unfamiliar with the notion that someone could actually care for and be friends with her. There’s not much description on her so I couldn’t really picture what Aemi looked like, but the character development was impressive. It was interesting to follow Aemi’s transition from a futureless slave to a more confident and assertive person.
Dynamic side characters. What is a story without the colorful secondary characters to complement the hero/heroine? Aside from Aemi, one character that also went through a remarkable character development was Nol. From a cocky mayor’s son, Nol became an angry and reluctantly submissive slave then emerged as a savior. Tob provided the comic relief. He’s hilarious and straightforward and his cooking ideas were outrageously funny. Lyssia – I loved this girl. She’s genuinely kind and treated Aemi as a friend from the moment they met. Like Aemi, Lyssia never had many friends so it’s not really a surprise that she immediately sought friendship from Aemi. I admired her for being a friend to Aemi in spite of the latter’s Indentured status.
Superb world-building. The world of Itlantis is excellently created. The imagery is so vivid that it’s really astonishing to visualize the beauty of Celestrus and the other cities. The author successfully captured the mysterious and ethereal appeal of an underwater world. The history of Itlantis would make for an interesting back story too, with the Cataclysm and all. I would very much like to know more about how the Itlanteans came to live under the sea.
THAT TWIST! While not really that unpredictable, that revelation about Aemi’s identity definitely stepped up the game. It changed a lot of things, including how Aemi would proceed with her plans, and made the story more exciting.
Of Sea and Stone is an astounding and enjoyable fantasy novel. I’ll definitely pick up the rest of the series to follow Aemi’s journey across Itlantis. A must-read for fans of the fantasy genre!
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
on March 26, 2014 :
Heartbreaking and beautiful! This new YA series has elements of romance, mystery, and adventure wrapped up in a fairy tale retelling. The main setting is underwater. The characters are wonderfully developed for a shorter novel and the world-building is sensational. I cried for Nol! If you enjoyed the Frost Chronicles, you will find this work just as satisfying. Recommended.
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(reviewed 5 days after purchase)