This is a series that starts with a bang. Whale Gods, betrayal, murder, more betrayal and hawks galore.
In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.
Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .
So what’s this about? Well it’s about a thirteen year old girl called Mouse who lives on her Grandmother’s trading ship with her younger brother and who is training to be Captain one day. There are whales in the sea that are kind of Gods, there are monsters that fly that are scared of whales, there are various tribes to which people are fiercely loyal and there’s a vague mythology of a magical crown. Let’s not forget our main character and her brother both possess different kinds of magic, she can talk to animals using beast chatter and he can sing to the whales.
Now I’m completely aware that this sounds utterly confused as well as being confusing. The thing is, this is one of those stories where any attempt to put it into words just makes it sound much worse than it is. In fact, this was actually a really fun set up for what I think is going to be a really good series.
What of our main character? I daresay there are people who are going to find mouse annoying. I guarantee she won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But what really sold it for me was that it took me until a fair way through the book to realise she was a girl. That isn’t to say I thought she was a boy before that but she was gloriously neutral. This is how you write balanced characters people, you don’t assume that all women writing in first person will at some point describe the colour/length of their hair or something to indicate gender, you make a realistic human being who thinks the way actual people do (and then you give them magical powers because you don’t want them to be too real).
I’d definitely put this more at the younger end of the teens/YA spectrum. Having said that, I, a 22 year old woman, really enjoyed this. Especially since (drumroll please) there was no love triangle! None whatsoever! Now of course there’s plenty of room for a love triangle in the upcoming books but for now I can rest easy knowing that another novelist has escaped the cliché to end all clichés.
Should you read this? Yes. It’s a fun world to be in, particularly if you, like me, adore the sea. It’s not going to be a must read for everyone but just add it to your to read shelf and see where life takes you!
My Rating: 4/5 stars
By the way: I received a digital advanced review copy of Sea from the publisher (Egmont Publishing) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, all my opinions are my own and I wouldn’t recommend this if I didn’t think it was worth reading.