Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sea Change by SM Wheeler

Sea Change by SM Wheeler
Genre:  YA Fantasy

Description (taken from Blog Tour):
The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price.

Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is difficult. The circus master wants a Coat of Illusions; the Coat tailor wants her undead husband back from a witch; the witch wants her skin back from two bandits; the bandits just want some company, but they might kill her first. Lilly's quest tests her resolve, tries her patience, and leaves her transformed in every way.

A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.

In Lilly's world, her dad is a powerful man while her mother has a past filled with fantasy.  From what I could tell, they grew tired with each other because he wanted the perfect offspring while she didn't want more kids.  Did I mention Lilly's not perfect due to a birthmark on her face?  Ridiculous, I know.  Anyways, in this world, the mother leaves and the father works towards making a new and improved family.  Lilly's home life has a lot of sore spots where some of us can relate to.  And to fight off this crap she's faced with, she befriends Octavius, a kraken, the one person (or thing) she can depend on.  But he ends up disappearing.  So begins her fantasy journey to find him and bring him home.

No matter what I say next, I have to give the author credit with the creativity used in this story.  But I didn't connect with Lilly at the beginning, and I believe this shaped my opinion negatively.  Gruesome and horrible things happen to Lilly.  And without the connection to Lilly, I was kind of disgusted and questioning my tastes in reading.  I figured there had to be some rhyme or reason to why she did what she did (besides saving her best friend).  But there just isn't.  And I couldn't make the connection from my selfishness to her selflessness.

I can't say I liked this one.  It's a story about how much someone will go through (or suffer) in order to save her best friend.  And there isn't a happy ending.  I guess I'm just one of those people who needs to have some type of hope in the end that things can end happy.

Thanks goes to Tor for providing me a review copy.

About the Author
I spent the first thirteen years of my life on a slow-motion tour of the United States, following my father’s work in the telecommunication business, with a brief side trip to Jamaica. Settling down at last in Upstate New York when my parents purchased an inn, I spent a difficult year attempting to adapt to the small local school and the company of my agemates. Ultimately, my family made the decision to educate me at home. Some of my time came to revolve around the business, which grew to include a bookstore and restaurant; some of my attention went to the school textbooks from which I learned. Mostly, I read and wrote.

Fantasy, science fiction, myth, folklore—I favored the unreal in reading and told the same sort of stories as soon as I could articulate those ideas in words. This became an important tool when I developed several chronic health problems in my adolescence. Rather than using the world of fantasy to escape from these, I normalized them by creating disabled characters within the familiar landscapes of the fantastic. One o’ clock in the morning with an unruly mind and aching joints was best faced with characters whose hallucinations and missing limbs were oversized projections of my own difficulties.

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