*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Dark Shores
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West. When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.
Anyone who loves Pirates of the Caribbean will thoroughly enjoy this first book in the Dark Shores series. This book is full of adventure, violence, family, love, magic, and the divine. It crosses a world, divided by distance and by magic, torn apart by dictators lead by evil and hatred, and full of people trying to live their lives in peace. Teriana is a strong young woman, full of flaws, but positioned to take over her mother’s ship and one day be a strong ruler. She has endless imperfections–she’s young, naive, and inexperienced, but her heart is pure and her intentions are naught but the best. She is, deep down, motivated to protect her own, even if her attempts are misguided or uninformed. The consequences of her actions only play out in part in this first book. I’m sure there is more to be realized as the story progresses.
Marcus may be the commander of the most infamous ship in the world, but he’s still a young man who struggles with his own issues, personal and familial, and it trying to make his way and be a leader to those who have risked everything to follow him. Marcus, like Teriana, is far from perfect. Many of his weaknesses stem from his own deep-seeded fears, but honesty may prove to be his greatest strength in books to come. He holds many secrets close to his heart, hiding his inner self from everyone around him. This makes him both strong, and incredibly vulnerable. Teriana may just be the one to break down his barriers and help him realize the true leader he can become.
Their story is one of great adversity. They are not allies and the world they inhabit is rife with opposition and violence. The are not meant to be anything more than enemies, but perhaps in overcoming this feat, they might fined their greatest strength.
This story is off to to an engaging start and I’m excited to see how it unfolds. My only reservation is the romance that the plot dances around as the book progresses. While I enjoyed this lighthearted plot, it was not all that necessary, and I don’t think served any real purpose. I was a bit disappointed at how quickly and easily this romances comes together, despite the opposing view points and motivations of both characters. That’s not to say I would have been opposed to romance developing near the end, or into book two even, however I think that the characters were far to quick to let go of difference. Despite this, I still really enjoyed Dark Shores and I look forward to continuing in book two.