Today I’m featuring a review of When Oceans Rise by Robin Alvarez. This review is part of my stop on the blog tour organized by TBR & Beyond Tours.
I received this book for free from Author to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Creative James Media on 05/23/2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy
Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // Indigo // IndieBound
Submerged in a toxic relationship and disconnected from everyone, she turns to the sea to decide her fate. Its decision? Toss her to the sea witch.
Seventeen-year-old Malaya is cursed. In her family, every girl’s first love ends in death after falling for someone evil. Good thing Malaya’s dream guy isn’t monstrous.
Except the curse is real and preventing Malaya from noticing how much he has gaslit and isolated her until she can’t be saved. With no other options, the sea witch is the only one to help her. Bartering her voice for a new life where she and her abusive boyfriend never met, Malaya accidentally swaps places with an alternate timeline version of herself who didn’t make her mistakes. As she tries to undo the switch, the sea witch uses Malaya’s voice to unleash Filipino mythological creatures into the worlds.
Can a champion, an alternate timeline sister, and Malaya fight these beasts and stop the sea witch before she destroys both timelines?
Content Warning: gaslighting, one paragraph with physical abuse
For some reason when I started reading When Oceans Rise, I didn’t realize it was a Little Mermaid retelling – until certain things happened and my brain said “Oh, ok! Little Mermaid retelling!” Just add a little bit of spice… such as Filipino mythology, monsters, and gods.
Now we all know by now that I’m a fan of fairy tale retellings, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I liked this one. Although I wasn’t as fond of it as I have been with other retellings, that’s more because I’m not as big of a fan of the Little Mermaid as I am other fairy tales than it is anything to do with the actual book.
As far as the characters are concerned, I liked Malaya, Gabrielle, and Salvador. I wasn’t as fond of the other characters, although I did kind of like Tita Blessica as well. I felt the book was well written, I just wasn’t really caring too much for the Little Mermaid aspects of the book. However, I know that the book wouldn’t have worked using any other fairy tale.
I gave the book 3.5 stars because while it was good and it was well written, it wasn’t my personal favorite.