Sinking (Sinking Trilogy #1)by Sarah Armstrong-Garner Published 23 Feb 2016
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Jocelyn washes up on the shore of eighteenth century Ireland, alone, naked, and missing all of her memories. Taken in by a lonely old woman full of plots and schemes for the lovely yet enigmatic creature, Jocelyn knows only one thing. She longs for the sea with every ounce of her being. Yet it tried to kill her.
Aidan Boyd loves two things. His ship and the sea. When Jocelyn is thrust upon his vessel in the midst of his superstitious crew, he finds himself intoxicated by her--willing to give up everything for her. He soon finds he cannot live without her.
But something holds Jocelyn back. The whisper of another's love. The embrace of water. Does she belong to this world? Or could Jocelyn possibly be from the sea?
"Sinking (Sinking Trilogy #1)" Reviews
First off, a special thanks to the author who provided me with a copy of this lovely book! Seriously though- that cover is GORGEOUS and perfectly reflects the story inside.
I really enjoyed this overall. It reads much like a historical fiction - though of course it has magic! I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet weekend read full of romance and mystery.
The story is reminiscent of 'The Little Mermaid' - except that we know nothing about the main character (she doesn't remember her past either) so we discover her secrets as she does. Basically Jocelyn washes up on shore in Ireland in front of a random house - and the lady of the house finds her and takes her in. Her intentions for Jocelyn are unclear at first - but it seems that she only wants to see what benefit she can gain from the girl. We also have some other interesting characters mixed into the plot, including one that reminds me from Gaston (from Beauty and the Beast.)
As I said before, Jocelyn has no memory of her past or even who (or what) she is. The selling point of the story was the mystery - not just figuring out her past - but figuring out the meaning behind the ocean's whispers. Someone is clearly searching for her, using the ocean as a messenger. It seems like he's a past lover... constantly calling to her. In addition to that, Jocelyn meets Adrian (basically Eric without the prince title) and starts falling for him. This is only the first bit of the book- so clearly a lot happens - but that's all I'll say for now. Except that the ending is a cruel cliffhanger, so be ready. (Okay I always complain about cliffhangers but at the same time it makes things so much more interesting.) I can promise this though- you'll get the answers you are craving - so it won't leave you hanging in that respect.
The settings were a major highlight for me. It starts out in Ireland (how cool is that?!) and then takes us on a journey through the seas and onto another beautiful part of the world that I won't mention yet.
I did have a bit of a rough time with the narrative. It is told from an omnipresent POV which felt a bit jarring when jumping from character to character. I think it might be a "it's not you, it's me" situation as I haven't really read many books told in this way. I had a harder time connecting with the characters. I really just wanted to be in Jocelyn's head and experience everything with her - but we don't have a ton of perspective from each character and I disconnected more than I wanted to.
The pacing was a bit slower than what I'm used to. All that to say- this was still told beautifully and had several SUPER cool creative elements such as the mermaid's eyes and the necklace she wears.
My only other complaint was the insta-love. It wasn't exactly straight up insta-love, but they fell for each other without getting to know much about one another. It felt like it happened too quick without enough development. Either way, I was still rooting for them... except when this mystery ocean dude was calling to her... because HELLOOOOO that mystery (insert winky face here).
To sum up- this was a great experience and I'm excited to see where this series goes. I'm hoping for more character development and I honestly can't decide which guy I like (okay but I love it when that happens..) so I'm totally on board to pick up the sequel as soon as it is released.
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Eighteenth-century Ireland, India, mermaids, and a dash of science fiction. A fun and intriguing story. :)
Full review: http://livkfisher.blogspot.com/2018/0....
Long centuries ago? Ships and sea? Mysterious plot? Mermaids? By all the gods, yes please!
Placed in the 18th century on Ireland, this book tells the tale of a young girl who washes on the shore without any memory of who she truly is. Helped by a lady named Edith, just for her own gain, Jocelyn is taught of the manners and culture of society during that time. Then Edith calls for her nephew, Thomas, to come and present her for him as a bride. Aidan Boyd loves the sea and his ship only, until he meets Jocelyn on the beach by a strange accident. Since the moment he started spending time with her, the sea and the ship came to step down on the priority list and Jocelyn became all he ever wanted. But Jocelyn has a secret. A secret not even herself knows she has. A secret that will change the fate of everyone on board of that ship.
After reading the first five chapters I was already thinking when was the second book going to come out. To describe how much I enjoyed and love this is quite hard since there isn't enough forms to do so. First, the writing was so unexpectedly delightful; it felt like being floating on warm water down blue sky; even if there were moments of full tension and confusion. It is told from an omnipresent POV which felt a bit jarring when jumping from character to character. Secondly, the main character is such a sweet and strong female, full of mysteries, pain and hope. Jocelyn lands on the shore of an Ireland beach, with her memory totally erased. Despite that, the only thing that seems to be familiar yet terrifies her, is the ocean and the way it calls for her to go back. Just with this small plot description, my heart starts beating with the urge to know what happened and will happened to this strange girl. Thirdly, Aidan Boyd. That's it, him and wow, yes, give him to me. Fourthly, the variety of characters and personalities, so realist. Fifthly, the mysterious boy from the sea, the mysterious past of Jocelyn, the mysterious medallion... Sixthly, being on a voyage on a ship most of the book which is fascinating! The descriptions, the plot twists, the romance, the intensity, the fantasy, the locations... MERMAIDS! Everything is so incredibly delightful, you want to have the whole trilogy already placed on your bookshelf. Oh, and that ending!!!
Sinking by Sarah Armstrong-Garner deserves to be read by every reader lover of a good book full of everything; from mystery to love to betrayal to corruption to humanity to mythical. This book is an amazing reading and I fully recommend it. Can't wait for the sequel, Drifting to come out!
I was incredibly lucky to receive an advanced reader copy ebook of Sinking by Sarah Armstrong-Garner direct from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sinking follows the story of Jocelyn who is washed up naked, unconscious and with a severe case of amnesia on the beach of a small town in Ireland, she is found by and elderly widower who decides to take "ownership" of the girl and make plans for her.
Having amnesia, Jocelyn could have very easily have been a very bland character who went with the flow and didn't stand out in any way. However her character is written beautifully and her personality breaks through her lack of memories and shows you what kind of person she is, even if she doesn't know who she is. It's incredibly hard to get a character suffering from amnesia right, but Sarah Armstrong-Garner has done an absolutely amazing job of making it both believeable and interesting, Jocelyn comes across as a strong, confident and intelligent character and I really liked her from the minute she woke up.
Then we have Aidan who is the main male protagonist and is a Captain who loves the sea and his ship equally. He is a traditional man's man, but has manners and is kind also which is a great combination. He meets Jocelyn on the beach one day and then is drawn into the old lady's plans as Jocelyn is to travel on his ship first to India, then China and onto England.
I don't want to give away any spoilers as the story is so brilliantly written, you need to go out and read this yourself, I will say that the story is incredibly clever and Sarah Armstrong-Garner's take on mermaids is the most interesting and exciting version that I've seen in a long time. I also thoroughly enjoyed the different locations travelled to so far in book one, you could feel the isolation and cruel beauty of the beach in Ireland and the colours and heat were so intense in India you could almost smell the wonderful aromatic spices.
My only complaint is that book two is not out yet (Sinking was released on the 23rd of February 2016) and so I couldn't immediately go on to find out what happens after this book ends on such a cliff hanger,
Sinking is a unique story with well-developed characters who jump from the page. Sarah Armstrong-Garner does a great job at inviting me into the story and allowing me to experience the internal and external emotions of the characters as they occur on the page. From the beginning, I had a pretty good idea of what Jocelyn was, so when it was announced, I wasn't that surprised. There is romance that fills the pages. I would have liked to know during what time period this story took place. It was never mentioned. There is mention of manors and ships for trading, so I wondered if it took place in the nineteenth century, (I found the time period on the back cover. Eighteenth century. I don't remember it being mentioned in the story.) but I wasn't sure. The plot moves pretty quickly. As a word of caution, there is the D . . . word used a number of times, but nothing that really retracted from the plot. I think this is a neat story for young fans who enjoy mermaid stories. I will be passing it onto the teenage girls in my life.
I received a complimentary copy of Sinking by Sarah Armstrong-Garner from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing company, but the opinions stated are all my own.
((I received the book “Sinking” from Love2ReadLove2WritePublishing in exchange for a fair and honest review.))
Sinking proved to be a sweet little tale with some unique ideas about mermaids, and a heroine who hits a good balance between kind and strong. While I found some character choices frustrating, and became a little confused by the world-building, overall this is a solid first effort.
The writing is lovely. This is a book that deftly mixes a fairy tale style narrative based on “telling” without overdoing it. I was easily engaged in the story from the first page, and I agree with other readers that it’s reminiscent of Jane Austen. I also enjoyed the thinly-veiled social criticism in Jocelyn’s reactions to “civilized human society.” Nice touches, without being overdone or detracting from the story.
Jocelyn is a nicely-written main character. Because she had amnesia, I was afraid she would become more of a victim, without much sense of herself. Happily, her personality shone through regardless, and she responded to situations with grace and dignity. This isn’t a kick-butt female, but this is a strong-willed, intelligent lady with a sense of purpose, even if she doesn’t remember what that is.
Aidan was less compelling. I could never tell if he liked Jocelyn for her, or because she had some kind of mermaid magic woven around her, and so despite Aidan’s basic decency, I was very uncomfortable with his devotion to Jocelyn. Furthermore, he made a particularly stupid choice with holding onto a certain object. I know this choice was meant to draw out the plot, but I found it hard to believe it took him so long to connect the dots, especially since he cares about Jocelyn. So ultimately, I couldn’t root for the romance (although I very much rooted against another, rather despicable option).
The plot moves along briskly, and does well when the characters are in Ireland. While I enjoyed the sea voyage, and the stop in India (yay geographical diversity!) it seemed like the plot lost steam away from the initial location. Also, the ending honestly confused me. I usually don’t like info-dumps, but I wouldn’t have minded a bit of a ‘dump’ in order to get a clear idea of what exactly Jocelyn was, and her plans before she lost her memories.
Note: this is labeled YA by a clean read publisher. However, it contains a scattering of profanities, and one or two rather intense scenes of sexual physicality. While the individuals stop before anything terribly serious, I advise strong caution for anyone considering titles for their teen. This one requires some maturity, and while I understand fully the author’s right to include what she chooses, it does make this book slightly more difficult to promote to a certain market.
Final Verdict: a nicely-written mermaid tale with romance and intrigue in equal measure, with undertones of magic and mystery. Quite mature for a YA, but not as fully-developed as I would have liked. Still, if you enjoy your tales with gentle, strong heroines, historical settings, and ocean-deep wistfulness, this is a story for you.