Friday, October 30, 2015

REVIEW: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

Of Sea and Stone (Secrets of Itlantis) 
Secrets of Itlantis: Of Sea and Stone (1)
by Kate Avery Ellison
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 260
Published: Feb 2014
Official Summary:  "If only we'd known how many secrets the sea held...

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving..."

Review:  This story took me by surprise. While it sounded quite interesting and I thought I would enjoy it, I am shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I devoured this book! I sat down to read it a bit before dinner, thinking I would read about 20% of the book then switch back to the other book I am reading (and also enjoying). Next thing I know I am a third of the way through the book! And I did not want to stop! I finished the book that night. I love it when a story consumes me the way this one did.

Aemi grew up in a village by the sea. She is what they call a Thrall. A slave by any other name. When the village is attacked she is taken captive and placed, once again as a slave, onto the care of a scholar and his household. With her is Nol, a boy who was the mayor's son and a rival of hers. She is determined to escape but that is not going to be easy...

The place she is taken to is in the sea. These people live underwater! This took the book to a whole new level of imagination. While I liked the imagery we were given, I really wish the author had elaborated a bit more on some parts. I felt the world had the potential to be very rich but more time was spent on story and character instead.

Yet I loved the story so that compensates for some of the disappointment. The pace is fast. But not so fast it is hard to follow. It is a riveting tale!

I loved the characters! Aemi is strong and smart and has a great personality. Nol is the enigma through the story, adding a whole new level of mystery. And Lissia, her master's daughter, is fantastic! I love her quirky interests of lock-picking and clock dismantling! Each character, no matter how small, has a vibrant personality and stands out on their own. I was most impressed by this.

There are a lot of surprises in this story and I am extremely eager of the next book. This has intrigue, some mystery, a bit of adventure and a light dash of romance. It is a very clean read that even advanced middle graders can enjoy. But this book is also wonderful for adults (such as myself)! Great story! I can't wait to read more by Kate Avery Ellison!

*I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*  

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds really good. I'm a huge fan of fantasy novels. Thanks for the review!


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