Review: Drowned


Title: Drowned

Author: Nichola Reilly

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: June 24, 2014

Goodreads / Author’s website / Author’s twitter

I’ve been on a post-apocalyptic YA kick lately – well, who’s kidding who, I’m always on a post-apocalyptic YA kick. I picked up Drowned on my last stop at the library, hoping for the best, and just finished it this afternoon. Mixed feelings on this one, folks.

First, a brief summary from the author’s website:

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

What I liked was the mystery surrounding this group’s existence on the island. I thought the story was set in the future, and it was fun trying to work out how the world came to the point that it is in the book. The humans who face the tides have reverted to a sort of primitive survival mode – love and attachments aren’t really a thing, brutal fights for power are common, and every day they face the dangers of the rising water and the vicious scribblers that lie in wait. The mood is intense and the story’s action never slows.

Also, I don’t want to give away one of the important twists near the end, but be aware – not everything is what it seems to be. You’ll probably see one twist coming, but the other will blow you away.

At the same time, the book falls into some of the traps that I was hoping it wouldn’t. As soon as I found out that the characters didn’t know what kissing was, I could feel the awkward learning-how-to-kiss scene from a mile away. There’s also an unnecessary love triangle, which, to be honest, made me want to put the book aside in boredom.

But overall, this was a story I’d never heard told before. Supposedly, there will be a sequel – which I’ll probably end up reading, just to find out what happens next. We’re just getting to the good part when Drowned ends. As long as you are aware that you’ll have to work past the cliches, definitely give this one a try if you’re into post-apocalyptic goodness.

3 out of 5 stars.



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