Child of a Hidden Sea
Author: A.M. Dellamonica
Note: this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles. The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard. Sophie doesn’t know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered…her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.
But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world…or is doomed to exile, in Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica.
This book! OMG this book! It was so much fun; I truly loved it. It’s a great read — it’s got a parallel universe, lots of ocean, ships, fighting, family drama, forbidden children, etc etc.
Seriously, it’s so much fun.
So, what I liked about it: to be honest, I liked all of it. It was a lot of fun, and it’s one of those big sweeping adventure stories that I’d let my kids read. There are interesting characters, great worldbuilding, and an action-packed plot. (It’s also well-written. A.M. Dellamonica is a great storyteller.)
Which, admittedly, is what I look for in a book.
At it’s core, Child of a Hidden Sea is a fantasy set in a parallel universe where only a select group of people know about the “real” world (aka ours). That parallel world, Stormwrack, is highly political and very ocean-based. There’s an interesting magic system, but even more interesting (to me) is the very complex political system. There’s some fantastic worldbuilding happening in this book.
What I didn’t like about it: not a whole lot. I did wonder how the Feliachild family learned about Earth and how they’ve managed to keep it a secret. How has no one else discovered the way to cross through? Furthermore, how did the scientists not consider the idea of parallel universes? Is the idea just so foreign to them that they’d never consider it? I hope these are addressed in future books (if there are any).
Ultimately, I didn’t like that it ended. Sadness.
I really enjoyed this book, and I really hope there’s a sequel. This is a universe I’d gladly revisit.
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