book reviews, Reviews

The Girl The Sea Gave Back ARC Review! // sequel syndrome?

Hi friends! I’m really running out of intro ideas that don’t resolve in me rambling about chasing butterflies or eating cookie dough so let’s just dive in!

Thank you Edelweiss and Wednesday Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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.

I am a bit disappointed. I tend to scream about Sky in the Deep every other minute so it’s no wonder that I was expecting this one to steal my heart too. But I think I may have expected too much, because I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would.

✨ I think we just need to take a minute to appreciate Adrienne Young’s writing style. I don’t know how she takes words and paints mental portraits but I want that skill. Her prose in Sky was packed with the brimming chilliness of winter, whereas in this one it’s awash with the rich lushness of springtime.

But what did these warriors know about fate? It was the curling, winding vine that choked out the summer crops. It was the wind that bent wayward currents.

It’s not just her descriptions of nature, either. I could literally read about battle scenes all day if she wrote them! I can picture everything so clearly in my mind, and I get so caught up in the emotional heat of battle that I forget that I’m not actually there. I will honestly read anything Young writes based off her insane writing talent alone.

✨ Our two main characters, Halvard and Tova, were not my most favorite characters ever. But I liked them okay. Halvard especially intrigued me because I ‘d already seen him in the first novel! Both of their character developments were done very well, considering that there were two perspectives. Speaking of which, I loved that Young did something new with this book. We had two perspectives and flashbacks. It added a little something extra to this book that the previous one didn’t have!

✨ The last 75 pages or so were a WHIRLWIND. I was freaking out, on the edge of my seat, desperate to know what would happen! So that was awesome.

and there may have been some cameos from other characters *wink wink*

❄️ There was nothing that I actively disliked about this book. Rather, there are some factors that might have contributed to me not enjoying it as much, if that makes any sense*? I think that the plot was a little all over the place. I was kind of stuck between not caring and caring most of the time. It’s really hard to explain, but I suppose that there just wasn’t enough time to become invested?

*i have to ask this question because, again, i ramble ad rumble and storm the gates of castles. ’tis a problem

❄️ And while I liked Halvard and Tova okay, I would have liked more scenes with them together, or at least more explanation to their attraction. I will say that both of their POVs sounded very similar which didn’t really bother me, but will annoy others!

❄️ And I’m kind of confused on the ending. Are we getting another book set in this world? I’d really like to have had more closure if we’re not.

Overall, I don’t really have a ton to say! This felt like a straight-forward YA fantasy story, without much to set it apart. The most memorable, unique aspect is Young’s gorgeous writing! However, I’ve been reading reviews and it seems like a lot of people who didn’t like Sky in the Deep actually really enjoyed this one, because they are different. So I’d suggest trying this one out even if you didn’t like the first!

Recommendation:

I HAVEN’T READ THIS YET. But I know both focus on Viking stories, so if that’s a buzzword for you then I’d suggest checking both out!

You can preorder this on Amazon or add it to Goodreads. Talk to me!

Quotes were taken from the ARC and may not appear in the final copy.

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8 thoughts on “The Girl The Sea Gave Back ARC Review! // sequel syndrome?”

  1. This is such an interesting review!
    I haven’t actually read Sky in the Deep, I was going to get it from my school library but then I got accepted to review this one. I don’t like reviewing a second book from a debut author unless it tints my view from the first one?
    – Emma 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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