Sea Change

Sea Change
S.M. Wheeler
Macmillan-Tor/Forge

Sea Change is the story of Lilly, a girl with a birthmark on her face. She is the daughter of a trader who has become nobility, but the birthmark keeps her isolated as the people of the village think she is a witch. Her only friend is Octavius, a kraken. When Octavius is captured and sold to a circus, Lilly sets out to free him. What follows is a sequential quest. At each stage of her quest some other deed or article is demanded of her.

I struggled with this book from the beginning. Occasional paragraphs are in itallics for no reason that I could discern. The style of writing is also one that distanced me from Lilly. I thought that her trials and tribulations were interesting, but I wasn’t engaged. I found Octavius a much more sympathetic character. I might have worked past the odd use of italics or the disengaged character, but I found the beginning of the story very confused and dislocated. The interaction of many of the characters appeared arbitrary and inexplicable.

At the end of the story I was left with a vague feeling of disappointment. I had put in the effort needed to reach the conclusion of the story only to feel that the author had simply decided to put their pen down and walk away. It didn’t make any more sense than the early parts of the book.

It is rare for me to be unable to find and redeeming qualities in a book. This book does have some interesting characters, but they are relegated to the margins. I can not recommend this book.

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