Drowned

( 7 )

Overview

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot ...

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Drowned

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Overview

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
Following cataclysmic floods, the remnants of humanity compete viciously for space on dry land while predatory “scribblers,” creatures with swordfishlike horns, thin their ranks. The physically disabled, like nearly 16-year-old Coe, who was left with just one hand after a scribbler attack, face a bleak future, consigned to the dangerous outer edges of the platform that offers protection from high tides and makes social ranking a matter of life and death. Coe’s narration sometimes bogs down in angst, but tight plotting keeps the story moving forward. When Coe and her unattainable beloved, Tiam, “who laughs in the face of scribblers and ghosts and taunts the vicious ocean,” rise in the favor of the royals, they become targets for those discontented with the selfish king’s rule. Suspense mounts as Coe and Tiam explore the labyrinth beneath the royal palace and the mysteries of their island’s past. A fantasy twist toward the end of this series opener from Reilly (a pseudonym for writer Cyn Balog) fits perfectly with the fairy tales Coe retells throughout the novel. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (July)
From the Publisher
"It's difficult to find a really unique premise in today's crowded literary front, but Cyn Balog has done it in Drowned! This is a world like you've never seen before but with themes and issues that strike surprisingly close to home. A society where you literally earn your safety twice a day when the tide comes in and submerges everything? I admit, I wish I'd thought of it first. A thrilling, brilliant read!" -#1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike

"A resourceful and smart heroine and a society literally on the edge of survival. Take a deep breath, once you start reading you won't be able to stop!" -Maria Snyder, author of Poison Study

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Deena Viviani
Fifteen-year-old orphan Coe is resigned to her low standing in life. After all, what good is a girl with one hand in a world where dry land is dwindling and one must fight to survive? As the daily tides flood higher and higher onto the platform that keeps the remaining four hundred residents of the island safe, Coe assumes it is only a matter of time before she is relegated to the edge and taken by the sea or its creatures. That is until the day Princess Star requests Coe as her royal aide in the castle. But Coe barely has a chance to settle into royal life. The commoners are full of unrest and the dying king knows secrets about their world that could change its course. Coe’s only hope for survival is to test her mental and physical strength and learn something shocking about herself. There is an abundance of post-apocalyptic young adult novels on the shelves today, but Drowned’s fantasy elements, environmental and interpersonal conflicts, and strong setting give it a fresh place in the market. While it is not clear when the major floods destroyed the northeastern United States, that vagueness helps with some other believability factors, like the fact that no one but Coe knows how to read or define some basic words. The end is reminiscent of the slightly older City Of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Random House, 2003/Voya June 2003), and a sequel is planned for next year. Nichola Reilly is the pen name of young adult author Cyn Balog, and this novel blows her others out of the water. Reviewer: Deena Viviani; Ages 11 to 18.
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Maia Raynor
With only one good arm, Coe Kettlefish is constantly reminded that, in a world where salty waves eat away at what little dry land remains, she is an outcast. Little do she and her friends know, Coe might be the very key to escaping from the horrible home that their island has become. Full of suspense, romance, and mystery, Drowned is a thrilling read that will appeal to fans of dystopian adventures. Reviewer: Maia Raynor, Teen Reviewer; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—In the future, there will be only water and one's distance from the rising tides. This is where strong-willed Coe finds herself with the water always rising on the small island where she has lived since her birth. There are only so many places of dry land left on Earth, and in order to make sure inhabitants don't get washed away into the tide, Coe's people, who have dwindled to 496, have created a standing formation in order to stay safe. In this formation, the closer one is to the rising waters, the lower her station in life. Unfortunately, Coe is the Craphouse Keeper, and it's just as dirty and smelly as one might imagine and closer to the edge of the water than she'd like to be. Then, her former playmate, Princess Star, daughter of the King of Coe's people, has asked for Coe to be her new Lady-in-Waiting, which brings Coe protection from the tides as well as goregous clothes and fragrant baths. There's also Tiam, the beautiful boy who has stood next to her in the formation since they were children, and with whom she's desperately in love. But, Princess Star has a plan for him, too. Tiam is to marry the Princess to guarantee a male heir to the King, who is dying, and whose death might spurn the remaining residents to revolt and tear the palace to make a bigger landing to protect them from the ever encroaching water. This suspenseful and dramatic tale will make readers feel just as trapped as Coe feels by the rising tides. Coe is an interesting and well-developed character that teens will root for every step of the way, and the other inhabitants of her island provide foils and allies alike. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, and readers will clamor for a sequel. For libraries where dystopians with a twist are popular.—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-30
The world ends in water in this tense post-apocalyptic novel.On the far-future island of Tides, eroding from chronic catastrophic floods, the survival of each of its 496 inhabitants depends on the relative importance of their jobs. The higher their status, the farther they stand from high tide at "formation"—when each citizen crowds onto a platform and prays not to drown. Coe, who lost her hand to sea monsters under mysterious circumstances, prays hard; her job as Craphouse Keeper will make her especially vulnerable when she turns 16 and loses the protection of childhood. When ineffectual King Wallow falls ill, rebellion rises, and Coe finds herself attendant to spoiled Princess Star. Coe's friend, Tiam, is chosen as the next king. Love is a liability in cutthroat Tides, but Coe hates imagining him with Star. When anarchy breaks out, Coe must abandon rivalries to save Tiam and find safety in a secret mountain. Suspense rises with the water as characters reveal their flaws and loyalties, and key words—which only Coe can read, kind of—are obsolete riddles that engage readers' attention until the answer becomes plain. Coe's voice is tough but eloquent, saturated with the bleakness of Tides and her hopeless romance. Though the story fizzles under an unexplained major plot convenience, the briny yet hopeful ending arouses anticipation for the sequel.An atmospheric, uneasy tale of survival. (discussion questions) (Post-apocalyptic romance. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373211227
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Series: Drowned Series , #1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 496,363
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nichola Reilly
spent much of her childhood on the Barrier Islands of New Jersey, where late summer hurricanes would sometimes bring the ocean to her front door. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters, where she dreams of low tide.

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Read an Excerpt

I write things on the sand so I won't forget them. Things I like. Darkness. Dreams. Clam.

Buck Kettlefish.

Things I want.

A warm dry place.

A long night of sound sleep.

I watch the waves come and erase the words from the shore. Erased from existence. From possibility. It's almost as if the waves are taunting me.

For thousands of tides I am sure people thought about how and when the world would end. Maybe they wondered whether it would happen while they were alive, or if their children, grandchildren, or maybe even their great-greatgreat-great-grandchildren would be the unlucky ones to be there when the world crashed down around them. But I don't have to wonder.

I know it is going to happen soon, and maybe in my lifetime.

Every morning I wonder if I will see the sunset. Every breeze is like death breathing down my back.

The sun burns like fire among black smokelike clouds on the horizon, making my eyes squint and burn. High tide is approaching, the waves slowly coming closer. With every breath, every heartbeat, they rise a little more. Soon almost everything will be underwater.

I stand and shake the sand out of my mat, then roll it up and affix it to my knapsack. I've gotten pretty good at doing all these things one-handed. My clothes are wet, and my lips taste like salt. I'm not sure why I'm yawning because I had a pretty good spell of sleep. Nearly half a tide. Half a tide where, at least in my mind, I was somewhere warm and dry, somewhere that didn't smell like crap or rotting fish.

I plod along with the others, away from the steadily rising waters. It's chilly but at least my tunic is only slightly damp; it doesn't stick to my skin. Nothing is ever dry here. It's either sopping wet or damp, and damp is a blessing.

It's time once again for formation. We all know the tides. We must, or we'd pay for our ignorance with our lives. It's time for all of us, all 496 of us, to trudge to the platform that stands maybe sixty of my feet above the ground, at the center of the island. At least, at last total, there were 496 of us. I don't like to count because our numbers are constantly falling. We all know this, which is probably why nobody looks at or speaks to anyone else. Better not to get too familiar.

When someone disappears, we all assume the worst. Because the worst is usual.

The only person who does look at me is Mutter. His face is dark and leathery, and his beard is scraggly and foul, greenish-gray, filled with old, dead things. He has his own scribbler scars, but at least he has all his limbs. He is useful. He sneers at me, disgusted. "Waste of space," he hisses as I find my spot on the platform. "Scribbler Bait." I wipe away the sand with my bare foot. The number two is scratched there.

Number two is my spot, for now. It's near the dry center of the circular formation, where things are safer. There are 496 circles arranged around it, spiraling out from the center. The circles are small; there's barely enough room to stand. There used to be thousands of circles, one for every person on the island. But the only thing constant about the island we call Tides is change.

Children get the central spots. When I reach my sixteenth Soft Season, when I am an adult, I will be given a new spot based on the importance of the job I am given. Mutter is right, though. I don't have any special skills, and my deformity makes it difficult for me to pull in the nets or do the things fishermen do. I'd barely make a good scavenger, the lowest of the low. People call them Scribbler Bait.

"I saw a scribbler on the platform last night," Xilia whispers to no one in particular. She is a scavenger, too, and quite mad. But many of those who occupy spaces on the outer edge of the formation are crazy, because they brush with death every time the tide comes in. And nobody can deny that the scribblers have been getting braver. That's not the name we always had for them. When I was young they were called spearfish, because they'd often spear fishermen as they brought in the nets. But then they started coming onto the sand when the tides receded, sunning themselves. They'll attack us on land, ripping through our flesh with their spear-shaped noses, then feasting on our blood. They're getting smarter, too, because after a while they began burrowing under the sand, hiding from us, and springing out whenever a human came too close. They make long, winding paths in the sand with their sinewy black bodies—like scribbles, my father had said. My father started calling them scribblers, and everyone followed him, as they usually did.

I've never seen a scribbler on the platform before. The thought makes me shudder. The platform, however small and inadequate, is our safety. But I know our safety is eroding. It has always been so. A thousand tides ago, the platform was twice the size it is now at high tide. There was room for twice as many people. Now we are under five hundred. I know this because there are fewer than five hundred spaces. The largest number that's still visible, though it is nearly half eaten by the tides, is 496. At least, that was the number the last time I had the energy to look.

I sigh and throw my things down on my spot. The spot is so comfortable and familiar to me that I feel as if the imprint on the stone conforms perfectly to my feet. Sweat drips from my chin. My eyes sting from the glare reflecting off the white concrete. Little Fern, who is seven, comes hopscotching up to space number one, scrawny as a sprig of seaweed, two white-blond braids framing her sweet smile. She has a little stick in her hand, something she's never without. When she steps next to me, she touches the stick to my elbow. "Your wish is granted," she says with great flourish.

If only. If only the stories I told her about fairies were true. There are so many things to wish for.

I was space number one until Fern turned five, when we all moved over a space to make room for her. Before then, she occupied the same spot as her mother, who was a fisherman before she died many tides ago. They used to give mothers spaces in the center of the formation when they had children, but then things became so dire that some women had babies just to get a better spot. I was told Tiam's mother had, and my mother had, though I can't remember ever squeezing next to her on her spot. Two babies in a season was a virtual baby boom. So they put an end to that practice after I was born. Now nobody has children. It just means more people. And there are already too many people.

After all, when a baby is born, it just means that when that child turns five, we'll all have to move one space to the left. The person at the very end of the spiral is out of luck. Space is something people have been known to kill for.

I'm grateful for Fern, though. She is the only one who still smiles at me. As for the others, we are not friends. We do not trust or like anyone, even our own family members—if we have any of them left, and most of us don't. We all know what is coming, and we've all lost enough to know that caring for another person doesn't make things easier.

Which means I have a big problem.

"Hey, Coe."

Just like part of the formation washes away in every tide, part of me is lost every time I hear his voice.

"Hi, Tiam," I say, staring at the sandy ground. Looking up at him, at those liquid sapphire eyes, will just make the pain worse. Besides, I already have every inch of his face memorized. Him? If I hadn't been required to assume the space next to him for the past ten thousand tides, if there weren't slightly under five hundred of us, I doubt he'd know my name.

Fern waves her wand some more, granting wishes to the air. I wonder how obvious it is that most of the wishes I have in my head involve Tiam. It's not that I want to wish about him. It just happens.

Tiam drops his stuff in space number three. For as long as I can remember, he has been beside me. When I was young he used to hold my hand to keep me from being scared. He is never scared.

I move as far away from him as I possibly can, which isn't far enough. The spaces are only maybe two of my feet in diameter, so now that we are older, we rub shoulders. Even though I try to wash up every day in a tide pool, I know he can smell me. I have the luck of having the job that makes me reek a hundred times worse than the normal, forgettable stench that most of us carry. Mine seems to bury itself deep under my skin. No matter how much I bathe, it never completely goes away.

If he does smell me, though, he never lets on. In twenty tides or so he will reach adulthood, and I'm sure he will have a good spot in the formation. A spot for the most valuable people. He is smart enough to be a medic, strong enough to be a builder, brave enough to be an explorer. He is everything I am not.

Tiam always comes to the formation at the last moment. I think it's his way of laughing at nature, while the rest of us cower before it. He says, to no one in particular, "So, what is the news?"

I know that isn't directed at me. I spend most of my free time alone, so I don't ever hear any news. But formation is the time to catch up on the latest gossip. Burbur, in space four, who is one of the most respected royal servants, says that she heard the king coughing in his sleep while making her normal rounds in the palace. Tiam raises an eyebrow, and everyone murmurs, "Ah, really?" Finn, a fisherman, whispers that the food brought in during this morning's harvest was "pitiful," and people shake their heads and say, "Is that so?" This goes on for a moment as I wonder whether or not to submit the only piece of information I have gleaned in the past hundred tides. Finally I clear my throat.

Tiam and the rest turn to me, clearly surprised that I'm contributing. "Xilia said she saw a scribbler on the platform last night," I offer weakly.

Someone, Burbur I think, huffs. Another person snorts. Tiam says, "You mean the Xilia who sees scribblers in her soup? In the eyes of her enemies? Floating among the clouds?"

Laughter isn't heard often on the island, but at this, people burst into fits of loud guffaws. I shrink into the center of my space. "Point taken," I mumble.

He leans over so that his warm breath grazes my cheek, and immediately I stand spear-straight. "Sorry, Coe, I don't mean to make light of it," he whispers. "Xilia says things just to scare people. And the last thing we need is for people to be more afraid."

Tiam the peacemaker. He is so like my father, it's scary. And it's hard to feel offended when he whispers in such a gentle way. I can't feel anything other than my heart thudding against my chest, the heat rising in my cheeks. I nod. "I know. It's okay."

"We've lost another!" someone shouts. From here I can see a body being hoisted into the air and carried in the hands of the others, toward the edge. It will be tossed over. That is the law. We spend much of our lives on the platform, squeezed together so tightly that the air tastes rancid, and one can barely raise a hand to wipe the sweat from his brow; so it's not uncommon for people to pass out while standing in the scorching heat. It's a woman, but I can't see who. I can only see the dirty bottoms of her feet as she is carried farther away from me. I look at Tiam, who is frowning. He doesn't approve of this law.

I know the sea is close when the wind picks up and I can feel its mist in my face. The people on the outer edge begin to scramble and shout, and we collectively sway along with the waves, breathing in as each one comes, out as it recedes. The sea is not close. Not yet. The newly risen sun, still veiled in those smoky clouds, will have nearly begun to sink from its high point in the sky by the time we are done here. But Fern already has her hand in mine, and it's sweaty and trembling. I do my best to calm her by stroking it lightly.

Tiam grins past me, at her. "Hey, Bug," he says. "Try this."

She turns to him, eyes wide. Tiam is balancing on one foot like a crazy man.

Fern and I stare at him.

"Try this," he says, patting his stomach and rubbing his head. "Bet you can't do that."

"You'll get in trouble," I warn, but I know people make special allowances for Tiam. Fern giggles and squeals. Tiam always knows how to make everything better. He knows how to make those tense moments in the formation pass quickly. "You are such a crabeater," I mutter, trying my best to sound gruff, as if I couldn't care less about him.

The waves are close now. I can hear them crashing against the platform, smell them. My wet hair, and the hair from the woman behind me, whips my face. Skeletal limbs press against me. People hug themselves and moan. We all tremble as one. The scribblers at the edge are hissing, sensing the human flesh that is so near. During the worst of it, I always look up at the calming sky, at the seagulls gracefully arcing overhead. But today there are storm clouds above. A jagged edge of lightning slits those clouds, followed by the rumble of thunder. All of nature rages around us. We are powerless here.

But Tiam does not care. He spins in circles, touching the tip of his nose. While the rest of the formation huddles together, wishing their space were bigger, Tiam acts as though the space is a mile wide. His antics get riskier and riskier as the moments drag on, so that one can barely take notice of the waves crashing around us. He causes such a commotion that all the people at the center of the formation, the important people, stare at him. I try to nudge him to stop, but he doesn't care.

"Hey, Bug," he says. "Let's race. Ready?"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2014

    Robert Frost once debated whether the world will end in fire or

    Robert Frost once debated whether the world will end in fire or ice. Well, for Nichola Reilly, the world will end in water. Drowned is Ms. Reilly's first post-apocalyptic young adult fantasy filled with a bleak, damp future for Corvina Kettlefish, or Coe as she is called, and the rest of the dwellers on the island of Tides. Sea monsters and human nature set out to destroy Coe and those she loves, but Coe is resourceful and much more important than she knows. 




    Each day, the shrinking population of Tides gathers on a platform when high tide rolls in. It is their only dry place on the island that is high enough to keep them safe from the raging ocean. At least for now. They have an assigned spot on the platform based upon their job - and essentially their importance - on the island. Children are allowed to remain in the center of the platform until they reach their 16th Hard Season, and then they are cast into outer spots as their duties dictate. The outer realms of the platform are the most dangerous, not just because of the rising water and strong under currents, but also because of snake-like, spear-nosed creatures called Scribblers.




    Coe only has one good arm after a childhood Scribbler attack, and she is faced with a terrifying reality - adulthood is fast approaching and she will lose her central spot in formation. She is disabled, weak and barely able to perform her daily duties as the Craphouse Keeper. The only bright light in Coe's life is Tiam. Tiam is a handsome, strong and very capable member of Tides and will no doubt be given a position of importance when he reaches adulthood. Coe longs to be someone worthy of Tiam, someone like the beautiful Princess Star, but love and longing are wasted emotions in a world where survival is everything. 




    As Coe continues to struggle with her reality, she learns that the king of Tides is sick. He has no male heir and it is only a few tides before the entire island is seething with civil unrest. Coe must find a way to keep the peace just as her father did before her, or else everything and everyone she loves will be lost. When the world ends in water, is escape even possible?




    This book is like nothing I've ever read. I'm not normally a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, but throw in some fantasy and you've got my attention. Nichola Reilly hits the ground running with a relatable and resourceful heroine right from the start. Coe doesn't need to be saved, although I don't think she'd mind it every once in a while. She's learned after many tides of having only one arm that she's got to save herself. Yes she gets scared, and yes she has teenage angst and somewhat naively girlish daydreams, but she is real. There is something magical in Coe's spirit and it makes it easy to root for her.




    I don't know if the world will end in fire, ice or water, but Nichola Reilly makes me want to take a few survival skills classes just in case. This book is not only an amazing read (I struggled with the fact that my life kept interrupting my reading!), it is also an incredible piece of literature. The setting is so vivid that it is easy to immerse yourself in the world of the book. The characters are complex, hovering between childhood and adulthood with wide eyes and trepidation we all felt growing up. The plotting is tight and Coe's voice is clear as she leads us on her difficult journey. It is one of the most original and unique stories I have read in a long time. I strongly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    Excellent

    Very intriging story. Excellent read. Could't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2014

    HELP SYMBOLS

    Post here &star &phone &hearts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Symbol help filled star

    to get a filled star type & starf without the space the end result shoud be &starf

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    An intriguing post-apocalyptic tale, full of thrills, secrets, a

    An intriguing post-apocalyptic tale, full of thrills, secrets, and a bit of sweet romance, Drowned was a lovely YA read. From the constant threat of danger, to the interesting new world, this book was great and I really liked it.

    The world building was good. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't like. The part that I liked was how well the author portrayed the setting. The way she described everything as constantly damp and cold, with the constant threat of the sea looming close, was perfect. It was so well described, I got shivers as I read. The part that I didn't like was that there were a lot of questions left over by the end of the book. Why did the water levels rise so much? How could a society (no matter how fractured and unwilling to bring children into the world) be totally celibate to the point that a teenage boy never even heard of the word "kiss?" Just small things like that didn't seem to fit. It was an annoyance, but it didn't ruin the book for me. I still really enjoyed it.

    Coe was a wonderful heroine. She was clever and very resilient. If I could say just one thing about her, it would be that she was the consummate survivor. It was easy to feel sympathetic for her right away, with how she was treated by others, and she quickly proved herself as a worthy heroine. I thought she was great and I really liked her.

    Tiam was a delight. He was as much as a survivor as Coe, but in a different way. He was strong, capable, and determined to find a way to help everyone survive, even if he had to sacrifice himself for it. And, he was also very sweet, loyal, and all around adorable. I thought he was just wonderful.

    The romance was light but very sweet. Coe and Tiam were definitely great together, even though it took them awhile to admit it to each other. After that ending, I don't know how things will be for them, but here's hoping for the best.

    The plot was well paced and I was hooked the entire way through. The book started off a little slow, though not enough that I got bored, but, about halfway through, things picked up and I became totally drawn in. There were plenty of thrills and secrets, along with the looming threat of the ocean, that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next. Can't wait to read book 2!

    Drowned was a fantastic YA post-apocalyptic read. From the thrills and secrets, to the engaging characters and the sweet romance, this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read. YA lovers, this is definitely a book worth checking out.

    *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    The YA scene is filled with dystopian tales, but DROWNED isn't y

    The YA scene is filled with dystopian tales, but DROWNED isn't your ordinary dystopian. It's part mystery, part thriller, part romance, and part fantasy.

    I loved the main character, Coe, who is strong but real, and the boy she pines after, Tiam. It definitely kept me turning pages to uncover more of the mystery. And that ending! All I can say is . . . WOW! I found myself tearing up at the end, and I am even sadder that I have to wait another year now to read more!!

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  • Posted June 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

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    Scouts honor, if the first 150 pages of this book would be cond


    Scouts honor, if the first 150 pages of this book would be condensed to about 30 pages, this book would be a solid 4 star. There were some points that went on during those pages, but they could have been made as a whole and gone on from there. During those pages, not only is it drawn out but nagging questions appear that are never answered. A condensed version would have had the reader maybe left wondering but not feeling pressured by them. Plus, I felt that the descriptions weren’t set up enough to get a real feel of the surroundings nor enough for the reader to let their imagination fill in the gaps. The first half also feels a bit juvenile, but even with the main characters ages, they would be wise above their years.


    The remaining 150 pages really get the story moving. There are events that make you really think. These events give you questions. And most of these questions are given answers to and those that aren’t answered lead up to the next book. I would love to read a prequel novella about Coe’s life before the incident that took away the majority of the memory of her childhood. Possibly told from Tiam’s eyes, because he went through some things in his early seasons too that set up some of his insecurities.


    Near the end of the book, I started to get a feel of the City of Ember series. Being that I loved that series (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. DON’T watch the movie!), that’s not a bad thing. I am really interested in Ms. Reilly’s next book in this series. She has really set it up where the next book could just blow away this first one. I anticipate a wide eyed, caffeine fueled, burning the midnight oil read with it.


    A true YA dystopian, this book is filled with death, hope, romance, mystery, betrayal and discovery. I suggest this book to readers 12+ who are looking for something a little different but with adventure included. I don’t feel that adult readers will enjoy this as much as a young reader just because of the peculiarities involved.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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