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February 29, 2012

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

imageTitle: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Received From: Publisher in return for a honest review

Summary: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it. 
When I first read the summary for When the Sea is Rising Red I knew I had to read it. I mean, first of all it’s fantasy, and we all know my weakness for fantasy. And it looked to be dark, creepy fantasy, which hooked me in even more.
When the Sea is Rising Red did not disappoint. It was dark, creepy, and surprising. When I first read the synopsis I was bummed because it looked like it gave everything away but it doesn’t. Each new page was filled with magic, and surprises. Keeping me interested and longing to find out more.
I’m not going to lie, Felicita kind of annoyed me. She seemed to have no plan and was just wandering around willy-nilly waiting for things to fall into place. Now granted toward the end she started taking control over her life and surroundings but in the beginning she made the decision to run away and then just kind of floated. The good thing about her being this way was the fact that it let other characters shine.
Cat Hellisen did magic with her integration of Vampires. They were a part of the story without being overly vampireish and they provided a fabulous foil to Felicita’s family.
Like Felicita I never knew who was good, who was trying ruin Pelimburg, and who was caught in the middle. every time I thought I had figured it out something would happen to change my point of view.
The ending of When the Sea is Rising Red was interesting and kind of confusing. While I really enjoyed the way in which it was written I wish it had been a bit more clear, or that it had been more drawn out so I could fully understand what was happening. But I guess that was part of the intrigue of the ending.
Overall I enjoyed this book though I wish the ending had been a little clearer.
Oh, and I need a sequel.
P.S. Do you see that cover? SO GORGEOUS!


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