I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
Narrator: Lori Prince
Published by Tantor Audio on March 16, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT, retelling, Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 11 minutes
A fast-paced, well-plotted fantasy retelling of an ancient Scottish fairy tale ballad, this exciting debut will appeal to fans of Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL, Shea Ernshaw's THE WICKED DEEP, and Kendare Blake's THREE DARK CROWNS.
Every year on Walpurgis Night, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a young boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.
Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken, sixteen-year-old Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Tomas Lin, her secret crush, and the only boy to ever escape from the palace. Working together they protect her brother, but draw the Queen's attention. When the Queen spirits Tomas away instead, Lina blames herself and determines to go after him.
Caught breaking into the palace, the Queen offers Lina a deal: she will let Tomas go, if, of course, Lina agrees to take his place. Lina accepts, with a month before the full moon, surely she can find some way to escape. But the Queen is nothing like she envisioned, and Lina is not at all what the Queen expected. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.
My top thoughts:
This took me forever to get into and I considered quitting it a few times. I don’t know if I’d say I’m happy I finished, but I don’t regret finishing if that makes sense. There were some really good elements and perhaps I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read it. Or maybe it just was only okay. I’m unsure.
What I liked/didn’t like:
I had a really hard time getting invested in the characters, which is sad because they had real potential. The representation, in particular, was great and was probably what carried me through. Lina, starts the book off in love with Thomas and it’s her efforts to rescue him that land her as this year’s sacrifice to the Dark Tide. And, as the sacrifice, Eva (The Witch Queen) needs to love Lina. And in the midst of anger and frustration and scheming, they start to care for each other. It’s devoid of labels – no lesbian, straight, bisexual, etc… just love. And even by the end Lina is still figuring out what she feels and learning herself. I think this part of the book is what kept me interested and why I’m giving this a full 3 stars.
In fact, everything about this book can be summed up as POTENTIAL. The threat of the Dark Tide with the yearly sacrifice had potential. The magic had potential. The relationships had potential. The way music (playing instruments, singing, dance, etc) played a role in this community had potential. There was even potential for abuse within the family. But for me, it never fully delivered and I just wanted more.
All that being said, I do think this is this author’s first book. Knowing that, I consider it a good first book and would definitely give her another chance (or two).
The narration by Lori Prince was quite good and fully delivered. I felt like I recognized her but I can’t seem to find another book I’ve read that she’s narrated. So either she uses another name or it’s a first time for me. I felt like she also saw the potential in this book, particularly in the musical elements, and delivered on that potential. I would listen to her again, for sure.