Hey all, Dani here.
It’s NetGalley review time! Woohoo! Okay, so I’ll be completely honest. I started charting out all of the upcoming releases I have to read on NetGalley and there’s like 4 in May, 1 in June, 4 in July, 2 in August, and that’s all dependent on if more approvals come through. I’m really trying to change things around with my reading for NetGalley. I started to slump and skip out on a bunch of reviews and my rating ratio suffered because of it. So I’m trying to keep up on all my 2019 releases, and trying to get to as much of my backlist as possible. Sorry if that means a bombardment of review posts.
Anyway, today’s review is not super early because this book will be out in the world next Tuesday, May 7th, but I’m glad I got the chance to read it–it was my first completed read for the month of May. Okay, then, let’s dive into the review.
High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.
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.
A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
A DANGEROUS QUEST
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
I’ll be completely honest and say that while I enjoyed the beginning of this story, I wasn’t invested in the plot or the characters until probably close to the halfway point. And then I just didn’t want to stop reading.
The only complaint I’m going to make–and it did not affect my rating–is that the author said that the Empire is based on the Roman Empire. To me, based on implies a similar structure and culture but renaming things to suit the new world. That isn’t the case here. Pretty much all the terminology is Roman names. Legatus, Centurion, Consul, Legionnaire, togas, etc, etc. It was pretty much “I’ll just take the Roman Empire, change the name, and set it in a fantasy world.” It just annoyed me a bit.
However, I can say that the clash of cultures, of a religious land versus a godless land, the different races and mindsets…it was all so well done.
By the end I was invested in the romance and the conflict, and just wondering what would happen next. I’m honestly hoping for more godly encounters in the next installment. It was amusing to see the godless soldiers react when presented with the vast power of the gods.