Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

When the Sea is Rising RedTitle: When the Sea is Rising Red 
Author: Cat Hellisen
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publishing Date: February 28th 2012
Pages: 296
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary:

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

I love the cover for this book, mysterious, dark, creepy, very beautiful! I will not lie the cover drew me in and the synopsis hooked me. This book sounded new, refreshing, and right up my alley. I found a way to move the book up on my TBR list and nabbed it from the library. I enjoyed the book, it grabbed me from the first page and didn’t stop there.

The story is very interesting, it’s about Felicita and the life she wants to desperately break free from. Felicita lives in very controlled and segregated world separated by class and the magic that flows through your blood and she is part of the rich, powerful, and privileged, but what comes with this life of luxury is the lack of freedom. The show is run by her older brother and to keep the family in its high position, she will have an arranged marriage and a life of that is planned for her.

After her best friend is found dead in the sea by her own choice, Felicita decides to take her reins and decide her own future, she fakes her death and runs away to live on the streets. She is taken in by a group of street rats and she learns about life, falls in love, and releases a dark magic that will doom the town, her family, and all she has ever known.

This world that the author built in this book was amazing. I could see it in my mind, the dark, gray, poor streets, the rich and luxurious houses, the cold raging sea, and the way the all weaved together. The world felt like old London streets to me. There really isn’t a time period in the book, but their way of life is not modern but not old fashioned, it’s somewhere in between. IT was a very creative world that I enjoyed very much. I had a little bit of a hard time with the writing. The writing had an old feel with lots of mystery and at times I found it a little confusing. I feel like there were some things that were never explained and the beginning felt as if the story started earlier and I missed it. The pacing was great and once I was into the story, it was easy to ignore the little things that I didn’t quite get.

The main character, Felicita, is a great character. I found her easy to relate to. Very oppressed and wanting to break free, she made the decision and she did it. She was scared but didn’t let the fear hold her back. Unfortunately she was a little too naïve and it ended up causing her issues, but I think in the end she found her way. Another character I really liked was the vampire Jannik. He was really fun, and added just the right amount of oomph to the story. I really didn’t get too attached to any of the other characters but these too were enough to make me happy and my favorite parts of the book existed in the times these two were together.

All in all, great story, creative, dark, mysterious, and different. The ending was a little too quick for me and still left me with a few questions, I really would love a sequel, it felt like there is so much more to the story, but if there isn’t I am still happy with the journey.


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