Review of The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep #2) by Adrienne Young
Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1): ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I listened to the audiobook and was also provided an advanced review copy via Edelweiss and NetGalley from the publisher, 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.
Adrienne Young’s prose has a way of wrapping you into his embrace and with it, you feel the atmosphere of her story deep within you. It surrounds you.
This book whisked me back into the world of the Aska and Riki – now the Nādir – and I was thrilled to see Halvard getting his own story, as he was a favorite of mine from Sky in the Deep.
That said, I felt as though the true potential of this story was never tapped into. With Sky, there was a constant sense of mystery and wonder. The romance kept me yearning for more, the action was gripping and immersive. I can’t say I felt anything to that degree in this book and that was disappointing – especially after reading Sky and Fable – as I know its there somewhere, just not here.
What I would have liked to see is a more in depth exploration of the Nādir and Svell worlds. I felt as though we only got the bare bones of what was necessary from this story. I would have liked to see Halvard and Tova exploring more of the daily life there. Furthermore, I would have liked to see Halvard and Tova interact quite a bit more in this. There certainly was a pull between them, but the story didn’t explore that enough, to the point that the romance between them was more of an afterthought that is just sort of … there? There wasn’t near as much emotion in this book as there was in Sky. I felt like we only got the briefest strokes of the actual story.
The ending of this book really struck me, too. It was heading in the right direction, for sure, but there wasn’t enough there and it didn’t go quite far enough. I felt as though there was at least two more chapters missing from this book that we should have gotten.
All of that said, absolutely don’t write off Adrienne Young as an author. I adored Sky in the Deep and have also read her upcoming release, Fable – which hits every single mark for me. It’s so good! I would start with those two first and if you enjoy her writing and want more from the world of Sky, I would read this one. If anything, its a quick read and a comforting return to that world and left me feeling satisfied with where Halvard, Eelyn and Fiske’s lives are now. It’s a solid 3.5 stars from me.
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