Book Tuesday: Child of a Hidden Sea


Title: Child of a Hidden Sea
Author: A.M. Dellamonica
Genre: Fantasy, Portal Fantasy, Adult
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 336
Buy: Amazon

One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.

The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.

Sophie doesn’t know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.

But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.

I was expecting big things from this book, especially since some of my friends really liked it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but I just don’t think it was everything I wanted it to be.

Sophie is transported to Stormwrack after saving her Aunt from attack.  Once there, she realizes that her presence could bring disaster to her family, but also manages to uncover a political plot that could change the future of this world.

I really liked Sophie.  She was smart, no matter what she said to the contrary, extremely resourceful and a true modern woman.  The supporting characters in her brother,Bram, her step-sister, Verena, the captain of her Aunt’s ship, Parrish, and even his first mate, Tonio were entertaining.  Even Lais….sigh….

Here are the problems I had with this story.  The world building was confusing.  Sophie and Bram were confused throughout the story, so I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but it just seemed frustrating at times.  The modern elements that were brought into Stormwrack, such as the scuba diving and cameras were just jarring–it took me out of the world/story.  Oh, and the disaster to her family part? That was a bit of a let down.  I don’t want to give anything away, but I was left feeling, “Really? That’s why?”

Overall though, I enjoyed the plot.  There were still a few unfinished plot holes that I’m sure beg for another book.  I would probably read it, but I won’t go running to the store the day it comes out.



  1. I actually totally agree with you about the confusing world-building – there was a lot of political stuff that I ended up just glazing over because a) I am not one for political intrigue and b) yeah, I was just as confused as Sophie, and unlike Sophie, I had the luxury of just going “Ehhhh whatever,” lol. XD I do think we’ll get a lot more explanation and answers in the sequel, though!

    And I actually really liked the introduction of modern tech into the fantasy world. Maybe I haven’t read enough portal fantasy, but I liked that Sophie and Co took advantage of being able to use modern stuff in-world. It was fun and different (but again, probably just ‘different’ because I really haven’t read enough portal fantasy, lol).

    ANYWAYYY I’m really glad you liked this one despite your issues. I’m gonna be one of the ones running to the bookstore when book 2 comes out, so I’ll let you know how that one goes in comparison to this! 😉

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