Review: Sea of Shadows

1:24 PM

Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 416
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever

First of all, this cover is SO gorgeous. I didn't realize it at first glance but the cover's background is a dark forest (I originally thought it was a drape or tapestry which now that I think about it is um..yeah, why did I think that again?) and the bird on the front is formed out of many tiny red leaves which can also be seen on the floor of the forest. Immense cover love!

The premise is amazing, in my opinion. Twin sisters who have to put angry souls to peace together? Yep, I'll read that book. Then there is the fact that the twins are the Seeker and the Keeper, who always have to be twins and who have to undergo an extremely merciless test when they're infants in order to decide if they're the Seeker and the Keeper. The whole concept is very unique. I like unique and it's what made me want to grab this book up (besides, you know, the cover). 

This brings me to the most important part of a book for me...the characters. I liked the characters. But that's the problem. I liked them, I thought they were nice, I rooted for them, but I didn't fall in love with them and feel their happiness and sorrow. I didn't feel as connected to them as I would have liked. The twins, Moira and Ashyn, are close. Moira is the younger twin but she takes care of Ashyn and gives her courage. She's the fierce and strong one, the good fighter. Ashyn, the older one, is quieter (much quieter) and is timid. This is one aspect of a sibling relationship that I really liked, that, yes, younger siblings are protective of older siblings sometimes. 

Hey, I should know. My younger sister says she will kill any guy who dares hurt me. So.

The love interests were nice, but I felt like their characters weren't as well-rounded as they could have been. They were a little stereotype-ish. The rogue character who gets into trouble and plays dirty but actually has a very good heart (even though he kind of comes across as a player). The sullen and silent guy who glares at everybody, is gigantic in size, but softens for that one girl. 

It seems like I've read this somewhere before.... 

However, I was really happy about the setting and the creatures. In the beginning, it seemed like the book was set in some type of medieval fantasy era, except that I read somewhere in there that for a meal people had rice. And there were other hints too. So I was like, "Whaaat?" After I finished the book, I actually read on the author's website that the setting was a mix of European and Asian culture so I thought that was neat. 


Very creepy. Very I-don't-want-to-get-near-you. But amazing. I have no idea how the author thought them up. 

One thing I want to touch on really quickly is that from the blurb of Sea of Shadows I assumed that the spirits of the dead would be a pretty big part of the story, but they only made an appearance in the beginning of the book and then once or twice as the story went on. That was a little disappointing.

Plot! Yes, the plot. Well, I thought it was tiny bit slow, but I don't really think that's a big problem for this story. I did find myself wanting to get to something exciting though and the exciting never really happened (or it might just be my opinion after reading many mind-numbingly, actiony dystopian novels). 

I would recommend this book to readers who like fantasy, paranormal, thieves and warriors, scary-butt deserts, and amazing pets. 

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. I have written it solely for the entertainment of the readers of this blog and myself.


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  1. Hey! Thanks for stopping by my site! Yours is very cute : ) And I'm glad you enjoyed my Beautiful People link-up.

    To answer your question about Alyvia's name...I kind of made it up, but people tended to have strange names back then too! So, I wanted a name that was pretty, unique, but not to out there, I meant her love interest/future husband is named Tristan and that's ordinary. Originally it was going to be an interesting form of Olivia and I just changed up some of the letters and it came out as Alyvia. Ysobel is an old French form of Isobel and LeBorde is a popular French surname. So there is the story behind Alyvia's name!

    Oh! Thanks for the Liebster nomination!

    1. Thank you! Although, as of right now, I've kinda changed the design hehe. It was neat reading about such a unique character :)

      That's such a cool story for Alyvia's name! I especially love Ysobel for some reason.

      No problem :D Can't wait to read your post.

  2. One more thing...I LOVE your name! Skylar has always been a favorite name of mine!

    1. Me too! Except (and you may or may not know this) Skylar's not actually my real name it's my pen name. But it's an awesome pen name ;)


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