I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Series: Secrets of Itlantis
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
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All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.
When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.
Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving...
This was a fun YA dystopia about a girl kidnapped from her seaside village and taken to live as a servant in a civilization under the sea. While there she learns more about who she is and what threats await her and this civilization.
Kate Avery Ellison has an amazing imagination and the ability to bring these unique worlds to life (I loved Frost). I read so many post-apocalyptic dystopias where man survives in caves or underground. Here, she has takes a new idea about man retreating under water to survive.
I really loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It was non-stop action and covered so many different themes from bullying, family, identity, friendship, war, and more. The world building was great, and especially the description of the under-water civilization..but there is so much more to be covered in future books that this one only scratched the surface.
There were so many great characters, both good and evil in the novel. They are all at varying degrees of depth, but I found them all to be enough to move the story along. These characters were believable to me, and I enjoyed the journey with Aemi.
Plot-wise I felt like the pacing was fine. There were a few slower spots but these involve Aemi learning more about her world, or her situation. The action is really great and I have to say Aemi doesn’t get much rest here. And I really liked some of the twists at the end that had Aemi questioning everything.
Age-wise this is a solid YA with no bad language or sexual situations, but some violence.
I felt like Nol didn’t really reach his potential in this book, though he did make a few strong sacrifices. I really hope we see him in future books. And Aemi’s childhood friend Kit doesn’t reach the underwater city, so he is basically MIA during most of the novel. I do hope he comes back in future books too. There are also two enemies in this book that we learn almost nothing about. Again, hopefully it will be covered in the rest of the series, which I am now looking forward to reading.