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Drowned (Harlequin Teen) Hardcover – 24 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (24 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373211228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373211227
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,369,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition
*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley*

In a future Earth that is now mostly covered in water, Coe lives on an island called Tides which is slowly being taken over by the ocean. The other inhabitants shun Coe who lost a hand from a scribbler attack.
Her life changes when the King falls ill and Coe becomes Princess Star's hand maiden.
With no male heir who will replace the King when he dies?
Can the people of Tides escape the ocean?

From the blurb I was excited to read this but unfortunately I couldn't connect to the storyline or the characters.
For me the world Drowned is set in is a strange world that I felt like a lot went unexplained.
One thing that I didn't understand was that the hotel that serves as the palace on Tides is supposed to be on a mountain, so surely it wouldn't be on the absolute top and therefore the peaks would be seen from Tides? But no peaks or scenery apart from the sea were mentioned. I also found the scribblers - killer swordfish (?) that like to bury themselves under sand - very odd.
Coe was an okay character and it was different that she only had one hand. I felt sorry for her but I didn't really connect with her. I didn't warm to any of the other characters very much.
The plot was alright but I found it dull in places and nothing that happened surprised me.

Overall this was an okay read but I found it disappointing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Put at the TOP of Your Summer Reading List! 24 Jun. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Robert Frost once debated whether the world will end in fire or ice. Well, for Nichola Reilly, the world will end in water. Drowned is Ms. Reilly's first post-apocalyptic young adult fantasy filled with a bleak, damp future for Corvina Kettlefish, or Coe as she is called, and the rest of the dwellers on the island of Tides. Sea monsters and human nature set out to destroy Coe and those she loves, but Coe is resourceful and much more important than she knows.

Each day, the shrinking population of Tides gathers on a platform when high tide rolls in. It is their only dry place on the island that is high enough to keep them safe from the raging ocean. At least for now. They have an assigned spot on the platform based upon their job - and essentially their importance - on the island. Children are allowed to remain in the center of the platform until they reach their 16th Hard Season, and then they are cast into outer spots as their duties dictate. The outer realms of the platform are the most dangerous, not just because of the rising water and strong under currents, but also because of snake-like, spear-nosed creatures called Scribblers.

Coe only has one good arm after a childhood Scribbler attack, and she is faced with a terrifying reality - adulthood is fast approaching and she will lose her central spot in formation. She is disabled, weak and barely able to perform her daily duties as the Craphouse Keeper. The only bright light in Coe's life is Tiam. Tiam is a handsome, strong and very capable member of Tides and will no doubt be given a position of importance when he reaches adulthood. Coe longs to be someone worthy of Tiam, someone like the beautiful Princess Star, but love and longing are wasted emotions in a world where survival is everything.

As Coe continues to struggle with her reality, she learns that the king of Tides is sick. He has no male heir and it is only a few tides before the entire island is seething with civil unrest. Coe must find a way to keep the peace just as her father did before her, or else everything and everyone she loves will be lost. When the world ends in water, is escape even possible?

This book is like nothing I've ever read. I'm not normally a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, but throw in some fantasy and you've got my attention. Nichola Reilly hits the ground running with a relatable and resourceful heroine right from the start. Coe doesn't need to be saved, although I don't think she'd mind it every once in a while. She's learned after many tides of having only one arm that she's got to save herself. Yes she gets scared, and yes she has teenage angst and somewhat naively girlish daydreams, but she is real. There is something magical in Coe's spirit and it makes it easy to root for her.

I don't know if the world will end in fire, ice or water, but Nichola Reilly makes me want to take a few survival skills classes just in case. One passage from Drowned continues to stick with me even though it's been a few days since I finished the book; and I think it not only paints a haunting picture of the world of the book, but also a world we could be headed for.

"... we created this. We went on to learn things that were 'more important', but we forgot the most important things of all. We called it progress, but maybe while we were busy building machines that could make it so much easier to access information like the average daily diet of the Northern Cuckoo, we were also building our own coffins."

This book is not only an amazing read (I struggled with the fact that my life kept interrupting my reading!), it is also an incredible piece of literature. The setting is so vivid that it is easy to immerse yourself in the world of the book. The characters are complex, hovering between childhood and adulthood with wide eyes and trepidation we all felt growing up. The plotting is tight and Coe's voice is clear as she leads us on her difficult journey. My only criticism is that I now have to wait for the second book in the series!

There are so many conversations I could have about this book. It is truly one of the most original and unique stories I have read in a long time. I strongly recommend it and hope you will find a place for it at the top of your summer reading list as soon as possible!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing YA Post-Apocalyptic Read 25 Jun. 2014
By Farrah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
An intriguing post-apocalyptic tale, full of thrills, secrets, and a bit of sweet romance, Drowned was a lovely YA read. From the constant threat of danger, to the interesting new world, this book was great and I really liked it.

The world building was good. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't like. The part that I liked was how well the author portrayed the setting. The way she described everything as constantly damp and cold, with the constant threat of the sea looming close, was perfect. It was so well described, I got shivers as I read. The part that I didn't like was that there were a lot of questions left over by the end of the book. Why did the water levels rise so much? How could a society (no matter how fractured and unwilling to bring children into the world) be totally celibate to the point that a teenage boy never even heard of the word "kiss?" Just small things like that didn't seem to fit. It was an annoyance, but it didn't ruin the book for me. I still really enjoyed it.

Coe was a wonderful heroine. She was clever and very resilient. If I could say just one thing about her, it would be that she was the consummate survivor. It was easy to feel sympathetic for her right away, with how she was treated by others, and she quickly proved herself as a worthy heroine. I thought she was great and I really liked her.

Tiam was a delight. He was as much as a survivor as Coe, but in a different way. He was strong, capable, and determined to find a way to help everyone survive, even if he had to sacrifice himself for it. And, he was also very sweet, loyal, and all around adorable. I thought he was just wonderful.

The romance was light but very sweet. Coe and Tiam were definitely great together, even though it took them awhile to admit it to each other. After that ending, I don't know how things will be for them, but here's hoping for the best.

The plot was well paced and I was hooked the entire way through. The book started off a little slow, though not enough that I got bored, but, about halfway through, things picked up and I became totally drawn in. There were plenty of thrills and secrets, along with the looming threat of the ocean, that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next. Can't wait to read book 2!

Drowned was a fantastic YA post-apocalyptic read. From the thrills and secrets, to the engaging characters and the sweet romance, this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read. YA lovers, this is definitely a book worth checking out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent read! 24 Jun. 2014
By Katie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this novel by Nichola Reilly. This post-apocalyptic fantasy has it all. The story captivates you. It is unique and entertaining - filled with adventure, romance, danger & mystery, as well as interesting and complex characters. It's a real page turner - I couldn't put it down. I am looking forward to the sequel and more from this author
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Awesome, awesome, awesome! 30 July 2014
By Melissa @ The Reader and the Chef - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I need the sequel NOW. This book is sooo good and such a surprise because it's unlike any other book out there. It's weird, it's unique, and it will pull you underneath its pages. I hope you know how to swim!

The story takes place on a tiny island known as Tides. Supposedly, it's the last bit of earth that hasn't been completely covered by the floods. Each day when the tides rise, the habitants are forced to line up on a platform according to their number and wait for the tides to lower if they don't want to be carried away by the ocean. Life is hard on the tiny island since food is scarce and the odds of making through another day are pretty slim thanks to all the casualties, and even more when you are only a one armed girl.

Everything about Drowned was unusual and unexpected, from the one-armed heroine to the castle secrets withheld by the royal. I must admit that at first, it was a bit hard for me to get used to Coe and her life in the tiny island of Tides because I silly enough, had my doubts on Coe's ability to kick ass thanks to her “deformity”. However, not only did she kick ass, but she also rocked the whole island from its core! She didn't need to have all of her limbs to dream and fight for what she wanted, she went for them all the way.

Tiam was another character I loved from this book. The guy had an amazing attitude and cared for Coe right from the start. I adored his innocence (and Coe's too) when it came to showing feelings. This island hardly knows what love is, let alone what a hug or a kiss means. Yes, my favorite part of this book is when Tiam and Coe discover what a Kiss truly is *happy sigh*.

There is so much more about Drowned I wish I could tell you right here and now, but I don't want to spoil the book for you. All I have left to say is that this book is a must and I hope many read it. It may be a bit weird, yes, but it's the good weird you can't stop yourself from loving.

*Read review also at The Reader and the Chef.*
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely outstanding, breathtaking, and emotionally draining. Highly recommend. 21 July 2014
By I Feel the Need, the Need to Read book blog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The synopsis of this book was extremely intriguing to me. I had not heard of anything remotely like this before. I was hoping that it was a good book and it would hold my interest based on the synopsis. I know this may seem odd, but I generally don't pay much attention to reviews when picking a book. I look at them, but if I get a feeling about a book or the reviews aren't all gushing about how awesome the book is, then I will usually get it. When the tour option came around for this book, I decided that I would sign the blog up for the tour and review. I wanted to review this book myself and not give it to the other gals. That's one of the nice things about being the boss!!

The world that Nichola Reilly has designed for us in this book is one that is amazing, heartbreaking, lonely, curious, and captivating. These people are forced to live (and die) by the tides. It is a grueling existence, definitely not for the weak or lazy. There is a lot of work to be done during the times of low tide. And you'd better believe that if you don't have yourself on the platform in your designated spot when the tide comes in, you won't make it. Sometimes even being on the platform, death will find you.

Coe is a very strong, independent female character. She has to be because she has no one to look after her. She must rely on herself and only herself to survive this difficult life. She is an odd looking child and is treated as such. She has developed a thick outer skin because of the taunting and stares that she gets, and she trusts no one. She can't. It may mean the difference between life and death.

I was enthralled with this world and the characters. I was sucked into the whirlpool of this strange, wet world and I was thrashed around along with the characters. I felt the heartache and loneliness of Coe. I was wrapped up in her emotions and her being, living every moment as if I were her. Nichola Reilly weaved together a beautiful tapestry that was so lifelike that you can't help but become part of the scenery as you view it. While this book is labeled as young adult, I don't believe that anyone should exclude it based on this label. There is something for everyone in this book and it will leave you reeling and excited and washed out, just like the characters. I give Drowned 5 books because I can't give it more. I will definitely be getting more of Nichola's books and she is on my stalking list.
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