Sea by Sarah Driver
Publisher: Egmont Publishing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
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 . . .
Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure. The first book in a stunning new fantasy adventure trilogy, perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Philip Pullman, Piers Torday, Abi Elphinstone, Katherine Rundell and Frances Hardinge. *
After a great deal of thought, I decided to DNF Sea at 32%. However, I do not think you should let this deter you if you’re interested in the book.
I really liked the world of Sea and the concept of the trading ships and tribes. The world that Driver builds is familiar, yet filled with moon sprites, shale songs, and terrordyls. The characters speak with a slightly strange, but understandable dialect. Fortunes are told in the sweeping aurora overhead and you can practically feel the spray of the sea on your face.
What didn’t work for me were the characters. The story is told from the perspective of Mouse, a young girl who is destined to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps to become the captain of the Huntress. Mouse is a fierce character with a strong voice and a sense of self that reflects her way of life. I think she’s a character that I would have really liked as a child, but I couldn’t connect with now. I don’t think this is because I’m a boring adult, as I’ve loved many other characters in recent middle grade fiction. I think I struggled more with her attitude. She’s stubborn and does things that are incredibly dangerous simply because she wants to. This is a trait that I really don’t like in any character, adult or child. I was surprised to discover her age — she felt much younger than her thirteen years. I have to say that I was a big fan of her grandmother, who is a force to be reckoned with despite her age.
Overall, this book wasn’t quite for me. The lovely world building didn’t make up for a slightly convoluted plot, which I don’t feel I can comment much on because even at 32% not much of it was revealed, and my struggles with Mouse as a character. Just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it will not be for you. Rather than recommend passing on this book, I think you should pick it up if the plot sounds appealing to you.
Have you read Sea? What did you think? Let me know!
*Copy courtesy of Goodreads