I wish to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Yes, I did buy it too, but I always do with this author!
This book had me going back and forth. When I saw that it was for both the Water and Storm countries, I wasn’t sure how well it would be. David has always done so well with sticking to one country or area so well that I was really looking forward to two separate books. I blocked that from my mind while I started and tried to keep blocking it as the story went on but I just finished this book a few minutes ago and still wish he had done separate books. Sorry David! I’ll come back to this in a few.
Let’s forget the previous for the moment. This book had me soaring along the seas like a pirate and dreaming of cloaked, sword wielding mysterious warriors. Part of the story brought me back to the land of Peter Pan, Christopher Colombus and Blackbeard and not in any negative way. I love a good sea story and the workings of the crew and the how outsiders were treated. To try to piece together how it worked without mutiny and then seeing from all points how a mutiny is actually just moments from happening, which brings me back to the workings of the crew and the ways and reasons how the authority figure keeps on ruling. Then there are the black cloaked riders, full of mystery and I’m imagining fair complexion, long dark hair, long sharp swords and horses that would put the finest stallions today to shame. Lightening quick responses from both riders and their steed, who flow into one beautiful masterpiece. My mind was blown and this is due to the always creative weaving storytelling of David Estes. That man can tell a story and you are right there in the thick of the action.
So, you’re probably now wondering what the heck is wrong with me. Why I didn’t like the two stories mixed into one. There is so much that could have been written about both countries. So much that could have been written about all the main characters. Huck from the Water country and Sadie from the Storm country. Poor Sadie, I feel, got the short end of the stick. There is so much more that rounds out this character that I, as a reader, can feel but do not know. I would have liked to have read more about her parents and her growing up. More of her budding romance with Remy. More about her inner turmoil. And I would have liked to know more about Storm country as a whole. From Water country, I would have liked to know more about Hobbs and his seething hatred of Huck, more about the friendship of Cain and Huck, more about the life Huck experienced from the time his mother died to the time that this story starts. I also would have liked a bit more in the romance area at the end, for Huck and the woman he fell in love with.
In conclusion, this isn’t my favorite book of David Estes, but it’s not one I would ever pass over either. It took me places that I haven’t been for years and my imagination was lit up, which I must say does trump a lot of things. I recommend this to everyone that’s read or reading or about to read his Dwellers and Country Saga series and I can’t wait to dig into The Earth Dwellers which brings both of those series together in one big show down. I’m jumpy with anticipation on that one, which will be released on September 5th! Both series are YA dystopian novels and are appropriate for just about all ages.