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June 24, 2012

"When the Sea is Rising Red" by Cat Hellisen

Title: When the Sea is Rising Red
Author: Cat Hellisen
Publication: 2012, BYR

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...read more

Appetizer: "almost all...confusing references go unexplained...damaged the bond of the story and reader"

There are some promising aspects to this early/2nd work, yet the decent foundation was not developed on to a grasping point of intrigue, nor are all the essential pillars for a strong read present for me. The initial opening of this book was actually quite good. As the storyline nudged on, only one enticing idea hung on a single weak thread to keep the pages turning.

From the romance factor, what is more disappointing than the insta-love itself (because there WAS insta-love), was how the relationships never quite hit home. The main characters were interesting to a certain point, but none were excellent and the male lead was rather unappealing. Felicita is supposedly a high-born girl, and due to the too-brief period we get of her in her high-end life, she loses the feel of any refinement extremely fast. The narration gives off nice, gloomy atmospheres at some points, but other than that, we follow Felicita who does not prove herself to be a memorable protagonist.

Ms. Hellisen also uses an extensive array of terms, and almost all of these confusing references go unexplained at all. For me, this was one of the factors that damaged the bond of the story and reader the most. Overall, this novel holds great potential, yet chooses some unimpressive moves after the initial start.

Rating: ✿✿ 2/5 Blossoms

Final Notes: I hope that I've been fair and justified in my judgements. I was really disappointed with this one -sad face- Then again, some of the factors that were the total turn-offs for me may have been okay for some of you, so still give it a shot if you'd like. I'd love to hear an opposition review if any of you have one ^_~ so link me up if you have a more positive review! Vivi likes to see the bright side of things, especially when she's stuck on the dark side.

♡ Vivian


  1. I won this a few months back in a giveaway and haven't got round to reading it yet. Hmm I'll still read it when I get round to it but it doesn't sound too promising! Great review anyway :)

  2. Hmmm.... I was really curious about this one... you wrote a great review so I am thinking I'll get it from the library and not buy it...

  3. I haven't read this one but I confess I was very curious about it. I don't know what I'll do yet but thanks for the review!

  4. Insta-love *sight* Turn-off for me. Sometimes, it can work, but most of the time I end up hating it. Sorry to hear that this book didn't worked for you!

  5. Oh no, I actually just grabbed this one and I was pretty excited for it but insta-love is a major no no for me. I think you were very concise and backed up all your feelings. Great Review Vivian, it's so good to see you back :-)

  6. I've been really curious about this one. It sounds really different but sometimes that can come off as confusing if it isn't explained.
    I have seen some positive reviews, like any book there will always be lovers and haters.




    1. Thanks for the links, Jen! It seems like they have similar negative points as me, except my weighing for those were much stronger ^^;

    2. Sure :-D Yeah I know some things irritate me more than others and visa versa. It's always hard to find a great book that doesn't hit on my pet peeves. Somethings I can roll with easier than others.

  7. I haven't read this book, but I'm definitely not a big fan of insta-love... Sorry to hear you didn't love it!
    Also, I just wanted to let you know that I've tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award! You can check out the post here

  8. It is so nice to have you back after your hiatus. I have really missed your presence on the web! Keep the good stuff coming.

  9. How disappointing that this didn't work for you. Insta love is bad enough but an unsatisfying insta love is pretty inexcusable.

  10. Ah boo this sounded so promising! I hate insta love when there's no relationship connection. It can be done well, but most of the time it,s a big downer which is why so many people loathe it lol. And lack of story building too, bleh. Too bad though the premise was super intriguing!

  11. Groaning at the mention of insta-love.... :( And I understand your issues with the lack of explanation for certain terms and references. It's difficult to become fully immersed if you don't understand things. At best, they should be explained somewhere on the same page, or at least have a glossary in the book so the reader can look it up.

    Anyway, sorry to hear this was such a disappointment for you! Especially since the plot sounds so promising. Still, fantastically written review!

  12. It's such an intriguing book cover! I've been eyeing it for a while. Sad your disappointed though. Nothing is more annoying than insta-love! I'll only read this if I find it in the library

  13. I tried this once and was very disappointed by it. I just gave up. I didn't even make it as far as instalove, unresolved issues and all those other things. I love creepy books more than anything, but this just didn't work for me.
    Thank you for the lovely review.


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