*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Sea Witch Rising
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes. Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?
I can’t say that Sea Witch Rising is one of my favourite books of all time. I read the whole thing and didn’t realize it was part of a series until I added it to my Read shelf on Goodreads. It’s pretty good to know that book two in the Sea Witch Series can really stand on it’s own. I’m sure there was added value to reading book 1, however I don’t feel as though I missed out. This book provided enough context that I never felt lost or confused.
What I liked about it was that it was a unique retelling of The Little Mermaid, at least in concept, however there were many twists and turns that set it apart. It was also encouraging to read a tale of two sisters, their friendship, and the bond of family that drives them together even in the most difficult of situations. I also enjoyed the elements of magic throughout. It was a nice balance so as not to be too overwhelming, but to add that spark of fantasy that keeps the reader engaged and guessing at what they’ll see next. I do have to admit, though, that this is about all I enjoyed.
I found the plot line to be hurried overall and really packed with too many elements. This story was trying to be too much at once. There’s a disappointing and lack-luster romance plot that raised a ton of question marks for me as it seemed incredibly random, unfounded, and unnecessary to the story as a whole. It didn’t serve any particular purpose other than to just exist for the sake of existing. The friendships in this book as well felt aloof and disingenuous. Bonds formed quickly but not deeply so it left the secondary characters underdeveloped and lacking.
Overall, I can’t say this would be the first book I’d pick off the shelves. I know personally, I won’t be returning to explore book one. Teen fiction readers, this may pique your interest, but there are definitely a lot stronger reads out there.