Book Review

The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the second book set in the Viking world that Adrienne Young built. I really enjoyed Sky in the Deep when I read it last year and could not wait to see what Young had in store for us in this book. It is set a number of years after the first book in the series (ten, in fact) and follows Halvard as a seventeen-year-old. The other main character in this book is new to us and her name is Tova. Although I liked Halvard and Tova, I just didn’t form the same connection to them as I did to the characters in the Sky in the Deep.

I felt like I was back in the world that she had originally crafted in Sky. The bitter cold and snow, the mist creeping over the land, the trees creaking in wind, the smell of smoke, and the people surrounded me drawn in my head from her words. Her world and atmosphere were by far the strongest part of this book. It becomes fully immersive and would be a fantastic book if the plot and characters had been as engaging as the world itself.

The plot ebbed and flowed for me from the political intrigue and debates to the vicious clashing of swords. I was enthralled in parts, but found myself drifting in others. I think it was mainly due to the fact that (as I mentioned before) I didn’t completely connect with either of the two main characters in the same way that I did their predecessors. If I had loved Halvard and Tova, I would have been on the edge of my seat, rooting for them, cringing when things went wrong, and cursing their stupid decisions. Yes, I likely still did that, but less emphatically than I would have if I had formed the emotional connection to the book that would have made it a higher rating.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story but it wasn’t perfect. It was going to be a challenge to follow the Sky in the Deep because it felt unique to me, but even that had similar pitfalls to the Girl the Sea Gave Back. The pacing and characters could have been better, but the world and the atmosphere were enthralling.

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2 thoughts on “The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young”

  1. I totally agree! I felt like this one was missing that deep intrigue that Sky gave us. I liked Halvard and Tova well enough but I felt like I didn’t know them and their last minute romance was a little off-putting for me. The emotional connection on many fronts was missing for me too. Great review, Kyera!

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