Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review of Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

Read for: Requested Reviews/ First to Read
Synopsis: "Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given."

My Review: I was really intrigued by the synopsis and the cover is stunning. The first few chapters of the book through me off a little bit, I am not a fan of having so many perspectives (4 in total) and I really was not a fan of having 2 of the point of views in 1st person narration and the other 2 in 3rd person, it really pushes you out of the story and makes it difficult to connect with the story or the characters. This book also featured a lot of rather dark subjects, with that said the underlying theme of the book is the battle of right and wrong in human perspective and how it varies with each person's outlook, location and upbringing and I really enjoyed that constant theme and struggle. Obviously, there are a lot of characters and moving plotlines throughout this book, I found some of them more intriguing than others. I was not a huge fan of Khosa or Vincent, who seem to be the main characters, both of whom fail to take much action and just let life take them where it will. I much preferred Donil, Dara and Witt, all of whom were more of sub-characters but had very interesting back stories and cultures that I am curious about. There is also a lot of world building, while it is not entirely clear on some elements of the various cultures, you have enough information to work with so there aren't any major holes. I did receive an eARC but a map would have been very helpful with picturing the world, when groups started traveling I had a difficult time picturing their journey or how the lands are connected. All in all it was not a great read for me, I felt very disconnected from the story and the characters, I honestly didn't care what happened to them. There are several plotlines left open for a potential next book but it is closed out enough that you could be satisfied with this ending.
My Rating: While the execution of this book wasn't to my liking, the underlying themes were interesting as well as some of the cultures, I just want more of those and less of the other issues.  Some people will really enjoy this book, but it just wasn't quite up to snuff for me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
  I was lucky enough to be approved for this book through the Penguin First to Read program, I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Mindy McGinnis and her work on her Goodreads Page or Website.
Given to the Sea is scheduled for release on April 11th, 2017 but you can pre-order your copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or your favorite book supplier.


  1. Hmmm. I just read my first McGinnis book and I thought it was ok. While this one looks good, all those different POVs worries me.

    1. This was my first McGinnis book. I normally don't mind multiple POVs but I really prefer only one in 1st person or all in 3rd person. The way this was written really kept me from getting into the story fully.

  2. I saw the cover and read the synopsis, and I was like, "Yes! Must read." Then I read your review, and I was pretty turned off. 4 perspectives is too many, and the story sounds like a mess and confusing.

    1. I know, it looks and sounds like a great book and it did have potential but between trying to have the 4 perspectives and then trying to be a fantasy with several different cultures and a dual love triangle things just got so muddled.