I did not SEA that coming… (spoiler-free review)

TitleSea Witch

Author – Sarah Henning

Rating – 4/5

Release Date – July 31st, 2018

Publisher – Katherine Tegen Books

Format – ARC from publisher

Evie has been an outcast since the day her best friend Anna drowned. Hiding her magic and drowing in her own guilt Evie goes about her daily life until someone appears who resembles Anna almost exactly and, though the girl denies it, Evie knows that her small fishing town is going to change forever. Evie convinces herself that her friend ended up surviving and that her magic did not fail her, but it is much darker than that. This new girl has secrets, and the longer she stays in Havnestad the less time she has to spend on land. Evie will do anything to save her friend, not taking into account the consequences of a bargain with the all-powerful ocean.

This origin story of Ursula from The Little Mermaid is one of my new favourite retellings. I have never read a retelling anything like this, and I have certainly not read a retelling of The Little Mermaid so I really enjoyed this one! I could recognize so many connections to the original story of The Little Mermaid which made me so happy when I was reading.

I enjoyed pretty much everything about this book, so I’m going to get a few things that I didn’t like out of the way first. Not much happened at the beginning of the story and I felt like it dragged on a lot and there wasn’t even really any information either. I felt like some stuff could have either been omitted or the rush of detail later on in the book could have been spaced out.

My absolute favourite thing about this book was all the characters! I loved how decieving they all were; you literally never truly knew anything about them and that made the entire story so much more interesting. Iker is one of my new book boyfriends because I adore his personality ahhhh I love him!! Nik was also very charming and sweet so basically a combination of him and Iker would be the perfect guy ever. Annemette (the “new” Anna) is so sassy and intelligent and her character took such an unexpected turn that took me completely off guard and made me literally gasp out loud. Evie was a really refreshing character because she wasn’t a hero or of high status. She was just a regular citizen (one with magic, but she wasn’t any more special than the others that had magic) which is really uncommon in YA main characters so I really enjoyed that.

The book was very balanced which made it so easy and enjoyable to read. There was a very equal presence of romance and friendship (a slight bit more emphasis on the friendship, but I don’t mind that) and there was also royalty which is my favourite thing in YA books. I will read every fantasy book with royalty in it (which is basically every fantasy book, so I guess that’s why I stick with the genre ha).

There were these “behind-the-scenes”/flashback chapters that were really mind-blowiing and made me really nervous to keep reading because in a way they were foreshadowing things and my mind was rapidly making predictions of the most horrible things that could happen. Things were so unpredictable too so this book always kept me thinking since my predictions were always wrong.

The ending was crazy! This book is a standalone (as far as I know) so the ending wrapped up really nicely but the information that was revealed blew my mind. I wasn’t really expecting any of it and how it all played out was insane! It is definitely one of those endings that stick with you.

If you’re looking for a unique new retelling then definitely pick this one up!

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? What are some of your favourite retellings? Let me know in a comment!


11 thoughts on “I did not SEA that coming… (spoiler-free review)

  1. strugglingbookaholic says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this and your review made me want to read it even more! 😊 I knew it was a Little Mermaid retelling but didn’t realize it had so much to do with Ursula. The characters sound really lovable based on your descriptions and I’m always looking for books with great endings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fanaticgirl6 says:

    Ooh I love fairytale retellings! One of my favorites is also about the little mermaid which is ‘Hushed’ by Joanne Mcgregor.
    (Also I came her from twitter and I love your blog!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. emmar says:

    This sounds interesting!! I’m starting an MA in Creative Writing in September and one of the ideas I’m mulling over for my dissertation is the retelling of fairy tales, so I’m definitely going to look this up!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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