Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellmonica

Child of a Hidden SeaI know I’m so far behind.. but it should pay off as I graduated college last week. I didn’t walking since I’m planning to go to graduate school (hopefully, Auburn), but I will be getting that diploma in the mail soon. Anyways, I get a lot of books from NetGalley, which is awesome by the way, and this book caught my eye as I was scrolling through. It’s cover art and design was just gorgeous, but misleading. You can’t tell that’s a woman from our modern day world, from San Francisco to be more precise. I have to admit, while I don’t judge a book by its cover, I judge a book by its cover and its title. This book met both my requirements. Anyways, I’m sure you want to know what it’s about instead of reading me prattle:

 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.

I really enjoyed this book, it had a taste of the humor/lightness of a young adult novel with the underlying messages and depth of a older book. I don’t know how it was light and deep at the same time, but maybe the author use a spell of some kind like Mary Poppins or Hermione Granger. It  also had a wonderful magic system which combine some classic elements with the new.

I want to touch on the magic first since I already brought it up. If you are a fantasy fan, then it almost impossible that you haven’t encountered a magic system that uses a person’s/creature’s name as source of power. Child of a Hidden Sea uses the name, but combines it with the use of objects. You have to have the person’s name as well as a particular object such as spider silk or a conch shell to cast a particular spell. This makes the variety of spells almost unlimited. It also makes the spells have a weakness; if the object is destroyed, so is the spell it cast. She did some cool things with this system, but didn’t really wow me until the end, which might be because I didn’t consider the possibility.

Now, there is a plot, but also a greater question: what is connecting Stormwrack to our world? The author intelligently doesn’t give it away in this book. This leaves the reader, or maybe just me, wondering what the heck is going on with Stormwrack? Is it a parallel universe? Is it the future? Is it a world they are teleporting to? There are many possibilities, much like the magic.

The characters aren’t as deep as I would like them to be. I just don’t think they are as realistic as they could be, or maybe their reactions. I enjoy them as humorous or attractive characters, but I feel like they definitely have room to grow. I hope the author takes the opportunity that she’s set up for herself in the next book.  However, the overall setting of this book makes up for its characters. It is a beautiful world with a diverse range of cultures from a strict matriarchy to zealous spider religions. It really has it all. I can’t wait to see where we go next.

I think this is a good place to start if you are transferring from young adult to adult fantasy. It is a great light read for the coming summer!

Child of a Hidden Sea on Amazon


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