Sunday, September 2, 2018

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Title: These Rebel Waves
Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
Review by Nara

These Rebel Waves features three points of view from a soldier/spy from Grace Loray, a prince from Argrid and a pirate from who knows where. I found that Raasch did a great job of weaving the three stories together so that I equally liked all the points of view.

The magic system was interesting wherein all the magic was based on certain plants that grew in the waters of the island of Grace Loray. I definitely felt that this aspect could have been expanded on, but seeing as though this is planned to be a series, that could be done in later books.

The plot was a bit generic, but I do find it's difficult for YA fantasy novels to be truly unique these days (especially because I read so many). The execution of the plot was well done, with Raasch doing an excellent job of quickly getting you invested in the characters' journeys. Even only a couple of chapters in, I already felt like I knew the characters quite well.

And seriously HOLY PLOT TWIST. There was a huge one towards the end of the novel that I didn't expect AT ALL.

I hope this series doesn't take the same trajectory as Snow Like Ashes where the first book was much better than the rest of the series. I think the way the character arcs are playing out means that it most likely won't. I'm certainly very excited to see where Raasch takes us.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Cover: 4/5