Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction
First published: 2016
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Synopsis: Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man. Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea.
Now, Bridey has to face her fear of the sea if she is to save her village from the terrible fate that awaits them at the bottom of the ocean.
I won this book in a giveaway. It has a gorgeous cover, I have to say that much. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the book half as much as I like the cover. First, let’s talk about the good parts.
The setting is lovely. I don’t think I have ever read a YA set in the Isle of Man in the early 20th century. It was really cool to read about the culture of the people on the Isle of Man, about the Manx language and their folklore and customs. You can tell that the author was well informed and it felt authentic. It created the perfect atmosphere for sea monsters.
Which leads me to the second good point – the idea. Sea monsters, guys! Sea monsters! Who doesn’t love sea monsters? The ocean is such a mysterious place that whenever I read about sea monsters, I can’t help but wonder what monsters the ocean really holds in its cold, dark depths. Combine this with the setting, and I was very excited indeed to read this book.
However, the story and the characters were a disappointment. The story would have been okay, not great, but okay if it hadn’t been for the insta love. And the dreaded love triangle. Also, the ‘plot twist’, if you can call it that, was so, so predictable.
The characters were painfully boring. Bridey had about as much personality as seaweed. The only thing that distinguished her from ‘Jane from next door’ was her profound fear and hatred for the sea and anything that had to do with it. Other than that, she’s just… blah. Her voice really annoyed me.And bored me. I didn’t really like her. And all the other characters were painfully uni-dimensional. There was the gossipy best friend, the goody-two-shoes sister, the grumpy old witch, the mysterious stranger and so on.
The mos disappointing thing by far though was the scarcity of sea monsters. Mostly, it was just Bridey faffing about, worrying what people thought about her, hating the sea and mooning over her ‘mysterious’ stranger. We get a bit of sea monster action towards the end, but not nearly enough. I was expecting more.
All in all, this book was a disappointment for me. I was expecting much more based on the synopsis.
*As an aside, I find it vaguely amusing that someone called Sarah Glenn Marsh wrote a book about fairies and sea monsters.