Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review of "Swept to Sea," by Heather Manning

by Heather Manning

(click here to view it on Amazon)

Summary from Amazon Page:

Lady Eden Trenton never wanted to leave her privileged existence in London—until her father invites a dangerous suitor into her life. Left with few options, Eden devises the best reprieve she can: escape. Chasing freedom, she stows away aboard a pirate ship, praying she will gain her independence in the colonies before she is discovered by the nefarious crew.

Captain Caspian Archer has spent the last five years hardening his heart and searching to exact revenge for the event that tore his life to shreds. When he catches word that his enemy is residing in Jamaica, Caspian steers his ship toward the colonies in all haste. His plans soon change, however, when he discovers the young beauty hiding in his ship’s hold.

Cut from the only lives they have known, Caspian and Eden are pulled together as each pursues a fresh hope upon the sea.

3.75 out of 5

I told this to Heather and I'll say it here: reading "Swept to Sea," to me, felt like I was reading a Disney Pixar/Disney Princess movie. That was a good thing! This book will go over better with the younger side of the YA crowd rather than the older -- that's just the kind of book it is. Me personally? I don't usually read this genre. This is the first time, actually, but I enjoyed the book. Out of ten, (my preferred scale), I'd give this book a 7.5.

So why do I say it was like reading a Disney Pixar movie? First off, you had your heroine -- Lady Eden Trenton -- who leads a troubled life and wants to escape to a better reality. Along the way she meets a handsome "pirate" -- Caspian -- and though at first their relationship is strained, eventually they learn to like each other and have an adventure on the high seas, with battles and pirates mixed in. Eden also has two friends who chase after her as a side quest because Eden's abusive fiance is seeking revenge for her running away.

All-in-all, the makings of a Disney movie!

I liked how the book was written, what with its accurate period-references and jargon and descriptions. You felt like you were in 17th century London/Caribbean. I respected Caspian and Eden was fleshed-out pretty well. Her friends, Aimee and Ivy, felt like the comic relief in a way, even though they had a pretty dark storyline (how they get dragged into the adventure is rather cruel, to say the least). Lord Rutger. You will HATE Lord Rutger. He's one of those villains that you just hate. This man is cruel and abusive. The things he would do to Eden are hinted at, and they aren't pleasant.

The biggest flaw in the characters that was the similarity between Captain Matthew and Captain Caspian. Caspian is established as Lord Rutger's foil. He won't abuse Eden and he tried to help her until she finally trusts him. You'll respect Caspian. Then, in a different stoyline (this book is written in multiple POVs), you meet Matthew...and the entire time I felt as if he was a lighter version of Caspian. We had already seen this character IN Caspian, so it felt redundant to have another man who acted almost the exact same way. It's admirable, but too similar.

The battles were fairly well-written. The first one, I didn't feel as if there was any real danger because we never got to "see" it. The entire battle was written from Eden's POV, and she was in the Captain's Chamber the entire time. However, once we see fights and battles from Caspian's POV, the excitement and danger level goes up, which I liked.

To say the least, the conflict in the later half of the book was better than the conflict in the first half.

Overall, this book will be enjoyed more by the younger YA crowd...like between ages 10-17...more than the older crowd or adults. There will be a sequel, so look for it!

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