Posted in book reviews

Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning held a strong potential that it unfortunately doesn’t live up to. With the promise of the origin story of the Sea Witch, Henning offered to tell an alternate side to the classic The Little Mermaid story that we are familiar with. I was excited to strip back the layers of ‘the villain’ and to see how she was formed, and to question her identity as a ‘villain‘ at all.

Sadly, while Henning did form an origin story, it fell flat due to a variety of reasons. For one, the structure and writing. The story takes place in the present day, but is often interrupted with flashbacks to show the backstory (to the backstory). The writing in these flashbacks was often poorly done; I had to re-read certain chapters because I had no idea whose point of view this was meant to be from. There was no sense of clear perspective from the third person narrator. One minute it felt like you were in the head of Iker, and then Nik, with no clear distinction between them. This impacted my enjoyment of the story because it wasn’t coherent, and it interrupted the fairly decent flow of the present tense.

Furthermore, several moments in this book I was hooked! I was like oh my god, yes, the book is getting good now! Some reveals, some twists, had me on the edge of my seat, desperately turning the page…

Only to be let down in the end. The plot reveals led no where but disappointment. It faded to melodrama. The characters personalities and established views went out the window. Dramatic love reveals. I mean, it was entertaining, but more of a oh my god that’s hilariously bad, rather than a WOW, what a brilliantly executed ending.

So sadly this one was a miss for me.

2 out of 5 stars.

*Thank you Netgalley for an e-arc, in exchange for an honest review!*

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