A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
The beginning of In Deeper Waters left a bit to be desired. I felt the secondary characters were not very fleshed out; to the point they felt like cardboard copies of every other YA character. The dialogue felt uninspired, the world underdeveloped, the story/plot slightly confusing in its unclarity in order to try to create problems/surprise the reader with revelations. I don’t know about you, but I like it when the story flows a bit more seamlessly. It felt truly like the point of the book was the romance and the rest was just window dressing–which eh, for fantasy to be done right you need a BIT more.
The middle is good, focuses more on Prince Tal and the hardships he has to endure while having been kidnapped. The other thing it focuses on is building the relationship between Tal and Athlen–which is super cute and where most of my enjoyment came from. I rolled my eyes a lot because Athlen’s “secret” is so obvious, and Tal keeps from asking him about his survival after he throws himself into the ocean (probably to keep the mystery alive) which irritates me because that would be the only thing I would want to know in his shoes.
In the end once we are surrounded by a larger cast of characters is when I feel my interest began to ebb. The other characters are just not very interesting, and it felt like we kept them around just because we had to at this point. In Deeper Waters also left a pretty major question unanswered when it came to Athlen, and ends with the prettiest bow known to man kind. I feel this will be one of those books I forget in a couple of weeks. The idea of the book was better than the execution.
PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!