Judging the Cover: This is one of my favorite book covers of all the books that I own. I love the colors and the cover depiction of Callanish in the graceyard was very helpful in picturing the world.
Plot according to Goodreads: As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.
In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
My Thoughts: This book is described as a cross between Station Eleven and The Night Circus. Although I haven’t yet read Station Eleven, The Night Circus is one of my favorite books. Stories with a circus or amusement park setting always interest me so I was eager to pick this one up. I was not disappointed. As with The Night Circus, the imagery is the star of this book…the author’s imagination and creativity shines through every page.
- The setting of the story (a world that has been flooded and all that remains are small islands dispersed throughout the ocean) was very interesting. I was able to easily visualize the world and felt like I was part of it.
- The story was very unusual…I haven’t read many fantasy books and this was a great place to start. The plot was different than anything I’ve read before.
- I enjoyed the hierarchy that was present between the Damplings and the Landlockers…there was a lot of tension between these two groups of people and I found it very interesting.
- The circus aspect was fun. The circus traveled in a large boat with several smaller boats (coracles) attached with chains. When they docked, the larger boat became the stage and the large sail became the tent. I felt like a member of the audience when reading the circus scenes. These scenes were among my favorites in the book.
What I didn’t Like:
- The pacing…this wasn’t a book that I flew through, it took some time to read and was a slower paced story.
- Some of the aspects of the story weren’t explained fully and left me with a few unanswered questions.
- This was the type of book that was easy to put down and difficult to pick up (but when picked up, was enjoyable to read). It didn’t have that indescribable quality that sucks you into the story and won’t let you go.
My Rating: 4/5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.