Monday, June 23, 2014

ARC Review: Drowned by Nichola Reilly @HarlequinTEEN


Drowned photo 18722924_zps0d9502d6.jpgBlurb from Goodreads:
Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.
Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.
Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

Title: Drowned
Author: Nichola Rielly
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication Date: June 24, 2014




RATING: 3.5/5 STARS

The Cover Contessa's Review:

I was sent this book early by the author to read and give an honest review. Receiving the book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

I was drawn to this book as soon as I saw the cover. I had no idea what it was about, but I knew I would have to read it just based on that. It's quite breathtaking and really captures the mood of the story once you read and understand the elements that are presented.

I'm a big fan of dystopia. I love how authors can shape their worlds from what they know and make it into something totally different and unique. Reilly certainly does this with her world. Who would have though of a world that is almost always covered by water with a population that is constantly trying to avoid it to stay alive? It's a unique idea that will definitely drew me in.

Coe is the MC of the story. When I first started reading, I couldn't quite make out how old she was. I knew this was a YA book, but age ranges tend to be broad with this genre depending on the maturity level of the character. Turns out she was much older than I originally thought. I expected her to be more mature for her age, but she didn't come across that way to me. Overall I liked her character. She has many great qualities: she's kind, caring, and above all loyal. All qualities that are important in a story such as this. She did possess some of the teen angst we tend to see in YA. It did not put me off, which was a plus because sometimes such angst makes me want to cringe. I think it was just the right amount. And I loved that Reilly made the character a bit self-loathing. It went along with the total devastation of the world in which she was living. I also loved the touch of the disability (which I won't disclose as it's better if you read it for yourself). Coe has had to adjust so she can stay 'afloat' in her world. It made the character much more real for me.

I liked Tiam's character but in all honesty can not picture him in my head. I would have liked a bit more description of how he looked. I do like how protective he is over Coe. You get the feeling that he would put himself on the line for her life no matter what. Partly because her father asked him too and partly because that's just the kind of guy he is. I did get the feeling that he was a bit taken with himself, thinking he was better than others (though I don't know if this what the author intended). Coe tells us he's handsome and strong, and that everyone likes him. But when it comes down to it, it seems he's not as loved as she had once thought.

The secondary characters certainly were also very interesting. The princess with her tower and her fancy clothing. The King who rules over all the people is questionable. And those who were asked by Coe's father to watch over her turn out to be more enemy than friend. It makes for a great mix of personalities and interesting interactions with the characters.

I really enjoyed Nichola's writing. It's easy to read and flows nicely. She has a good way with description for the most part, although I do think her descriptions of some of her characters could have been better. But I can picture the world in my head, surrounded by water that continuously rises and recedes with the tide. The world building is interesting. I will say that I would love a bit more background, although I understand that it is part of the mystery the author is trying to build. I can totally picture a world taken over by water because of climate change. It addresses something key in our current society, which makes it more realistic, as if it could happen tomorrow so we need to be prepared.

The book was certainly a page turner for me (as noted by the fact that I finished it in three days with all those interruptions of life). I didn't find myself bored. I will say that Rielly addressed certain things more than once and it made me feel like I was going in circles at times. As if the main character just could not break out of her rut to get to the nitty gritty of what she needed to learn. I like to have an idea of what's really going on in a book by about half way through, but that didn't happen for me until about three quarters of the way through and then I felt like the ending was a bit rushed because of it. I was also taken aback by the fantastical element that is introduced. While I kind of had a feeling something like it might happen, when it did, it really wasn't addressed well in my opinion. I feel like it should have been more of a big deal, and that emotion did not come across to me (from either the main character or the secondary ones who knew/found out). I like that it was included, I just wish there was more information and character realization centered on it when it did.


Overall the story is filled with action, emotion, romance, and fear. I am definitely intrigued to see where Rielly takes the next book, especially with how this one ended. I think readers of Kagawa and Meadows will like this post-apocolyptic fantastical world.

Cyn Balog photo 1463436_zps60ea9528.jpgNichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.


2 comments:

  1. I had many of the same feelings about this book. By the end though, I was hooked and look forward to the next one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know we agreed on a lot of points when we talked about this book. I definitely want to read the next one. I'm hooked, too!

      Delete

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