The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: 3 Stars ⭐️
For 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.
Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Adrienne Young, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.
Regardless of my review, I believe that we should gives books that interest us a chance! Reviews are important but not every book is for every person and we need to keep that in mind when we decide what books we want to read!
I went into this book with the understanding that this book is not Sky in the Deep, however because it is in the same world, I had a hard time separating that expectation from my thoughts. I cannot fault this book for not being Sky. To me, this book has way less Viking action and hardly any romance but that’s okay because it is a story of its own!
There were many parts of this YA fantasy that I enjoyed. I really loved the idea of how relying on fate can rule the way a group of people live. I love the expansion of the different clans, their ways of life, and how they view the world. I liked the idea of multiple points of view to get the story from a different angle. The fighting scenes were intense, had me on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could!
With that being said, I had a hard time connecting to the characters and the story, I would have an even harder time connecting if I hadn’t read Sky. Adrienne Young sets up a very unique world in the first but I felt like it wasn’t expanded much in this novel. The voices felt flat, even the POVs read the same in tone and structure. I felt lost, not knowing where I was in the story/world, and kept having to reread passages to figure out who was talking and where I was. Sometimes I would be reading a chapter and forget who’s point of view it was.
I felt that there wasn’t much of a buildup to the climax. There was a lot of telling and not showing, which packed less of an emotional punch. I felt somewhat lost on the characters motivates, and confused as to why they were doing what they were doing. I didn’t understand why they were at war, which is actually part of the issue I had with Sky. The plots seemed similar and had the same issues with pacing.
Overall, I feel like this book is very bingeable; while it had it’s issues, I still get myself compelled to keep reading it and to find out the fate of the people in this story. I think that there’s a lot that can be expanded on and more to explore! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Viking lore, action, and for people who read and enjoyed Sky in the Deep but keep in mind that they are different stories!
You can pre-order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available September 3, 2019!