Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

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Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books

Pages: 373

~*~*~*~*~

I received this book from my June Uppercase Box right after graduation. Yes, this girl has graduated! This is my first post-grad review! Wow, I can hardly believe it.

Unfortunately, this review is not going to be all unicorns and rainbows. In fact, I believe this review is going to be much like the post-grad world: too realistic and just a bit disappointing for many of the YA optimists out there. My apologies. Can you tell I’m feeling sassy? No? Well, let’s count the ways… shall we?

If you’re a book addict like me, you consult the Great Online Literature Oracle, Goodreads, before you read a novel. When you check this book out on Goodreads, you see a 4.06/5 rating for this novel. I just wanted to preface this review by saying that my opinion is in the minority. This book wasn’t horrible by any means, but I do not believe it deserves the level of hype it is currently receiving.

MORAL RATING:

PG-13: A few cuss words, hinted sex scene (preface lasts a couple pages)

THE GOOD:

I was wholeheartedly invested in this novel until the last 40%. Tolcser’s writing style is captivating and she attempts to reel the reader in with a fierce, feminist heroine, complex world-building, and a fast-paced, action-packed plot line. Unlike most novels that include a map in the first few pages, I actually referenced this map throughout the book. While this was a bit inconvenient, I found the map absolutely beautiful and so helpful. It was cool to be able to track Caro’s progress.

THE BAD:

You can make a mess of the world-building or the plot line, but for all that is good and holy on this Earth, do not mess up the romance. Also, please do not muck up the grammar. But I digress. I’m a sappy romantic and I enjoy a good, clean romance. So sue me. That being said, the development of Markos and Caro’s relationship solely consisted of sweet little peeks at each other (his ears are turning pink!) and an ongoing exchange of love/hate banter. Me and the chocolate muffin I ate this morning for breakfast had more chemistry. I will literally fight someone on this. With foam swords. I’m no pirate! In my opinion, the whole relationship felt extremely forced.

The most disappointing part of this novel was the potential. It is clear that Tolcser had great intent and purpose behind the characters and the plot’s twists and turns. Maybe had there been more revision, this novel would have flowed more smoothly. Between the sailing jargon, the Greek-inspired town names, and the muddy plot, the main point somehow sunk to the bottom. I could just be daft, but much of the plot was lost on me. After I was about 60% of the way through the novel, I couldn’t have cared if the ship had sunk and Jack Sparrow had made a surprise appearance half-drunk.

That, my friends, is a problem.

SOUNDTRACK:

Finding a soundtrack for this novel was a challenge! Based on the community that Caro finds herself in as a wherrywoman and an Oresteia, I thought that “Brother” by Kodaline was a good fit. Everyone has each other’s backs. Loved that aspect of this novel.

Challenge: Watch this music video and do not cry. Pretty sure it is impossible. You have been warned!

MY VERDICT:

While Song of the Current may appeal to others, it was not for me. I’d give it 2.5/5 stars. I won’t rule out reading the second book when it is released, but I doubt that I will make continuing this series a priority in my book blogging life.

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