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THIS BOOK. DAMN. It completely captured my interest from the very first chapter and held it right through to the end. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to read this all in one sitting but the NEED WAS STRONG. You know that feeling when you realise your book is SO GOOD and you really, really don’t want to put it down but you have sh** to do? That pretty much summed up my life while trying to read this.
I initially picked up These Rebel Waves because of the cover. Its SO PRETTY and I was in the mood for some spontaneity. Have you ever picked up a book for the cover alone and not read the blurb? I did that with These Rebel Waves and was SO GLAD that the cover was awesome enough to pique my interest. The world-building was as phenomenal and the characters had the perfect balance of badass, loyalty and humour. It was a wild, wild ride and I freaking LOVED IT. If you haven’t read this yet… honestly what are you waiting for?
Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.
Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.
Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.
As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.
The eclectic mix of characters in this book surprised me. It’s not often YA fantasy authors get the balance of character personalities and their dynamics in a group JUST RIGHT but this book did. If you’ve read Aurora Rising you’ll know what I mean. There’s the kick-ass witty one (Vex), the morally sound natural leader (Adeluna), the badass quiet one (Eddy), the one with a chip on their shoulder the size of a boulder (Nayeli) and the adorable one (Teo). Honestly this sounds like a trope with character traits just being handed out on a whim. I can’t do this story justice in my description of them. It’s not so much the fact that the characters seemed distinct and interesting but that together they seemed REAL. They had flaws. They were scared. There was no easy ‘save the day.’ This book shattered my heart and I may never be the same.
What I REALLY loved was that Raasch didn’t keep the characters’ plans a secret. This is something that really annoys me about fantasy writing, Sarah J Maas’ writing in particular. In These Rebel Waves, Raasch laid out their plans and then weaved in completely unpredictable story elements to still create suspense and surprise the reader without leaving them blind the whole damn book.
The first few chapters of These Rebel Waves were quite confusing. I mean that in a good way! The world-building was complex, well thought out and encompassed every aspect of the book. It felt real and rivalled the likes of my fav fantasy worlds. There was corruption, religion, political manipulation and destitution. Nothing felt trite or done merely for dramatic effect. Everything was believable and had purpose, the likes of which brought what could have been an average story in to the range of a phenomenal one. In saying this, I realise this isn’t for everyone. It took me a while to figure it out and even then I had to actively read. You can’t be just a passerby in this story. At least not to fully appreciate it.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and wish that everyone would read it. I know half of you probably won’t like it but it was MY PERFECT cup of tea. As I’m a nice person and all, I’ve added some reviews down below that aren’t just me gushing about how much I loved it and instead give a more balance view. Seriously though… you’re missing out if you don’t give this one a try!
I loved how Leelyn from Sometimes Leelyn Reads shared reviews for bloggers that had also reviewed the same book and I thought it was a brilliant idea and couldn’t wait to add it in this week. Especially as I couldn’t find fault with this book and I know a few others who have HATED IT haha. Not everyone’s opinions on books are the same so it’s great to share alternative POV. Plus, I love supporting bloggers that have been so kind to our blog so far!
Evelyn from Evelyn Reads
Amanda from Classy X Book Reviews