Book Reviews, Magic Fantasy

SeQuence: The Heart of the Ocean, Book 1

NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.” Netgalley is a special section of my book discussions where I post reviews of the digital books I read through this service. It’s quite amazing the gems you can find. I’ve yet to regret reading a book, even if I don’t like it…


Alessia hears voices, lots and lots of voices, so many that it’s crippling. Water has the ability to dampen the voices but it looks mighty crazy to have sacks of water tied around your head. So its no surprise she’s committed to an asylum. On an island far from home Alessia is able to flee her doctor and her padded cell and escape into the ocean. Only to wake up in Zeneshia, the home of her long-lost grandmother and Dante, the man she’s totally drawn to. As she delves into the history of Zeneshia she learns she is a part of what is going on and she’s the one with the power to stop it.

I really loved this premise. I love stories with paranormal abilities and thought pairing that with an alternate world sounded like a riot of fun. By 10% the premise was done. There was mind talking but it didn’t really play a part in the plot of the story once Alessia hits Zeneshia. It’s more like it was world building that started on earth. I really felt like I was sold one story only to learn that the story really is something totally different. In the book blurb it does mention Zeneshia (4 sentences) and that it is an alternate world. I expected the plot to be about the new world, but I also expected that what happened to her on earth (6 sentences) would also play a part in the plot… We needed two sentences about earth, something like:

“Alessia Appleton has been plagued by voices since her parents died a year ago and the only thing that gives her relief is water. After escaping her cell on an island asylum she plunges into the ocean and wakes up in another world.”
This gives a lot more blurb space to tell us what the story is really about! Problems with the cover blurb aside it speaks to the problems of the book as a whole.

This is really about a girl who goes to another world where only three major events happen, one of which is she falls in love. The whole setup is only to explain why she doesn’t act like a typical teenager or think about friends she is missing back on earth and a whole host of other thoughts someone who has a healthy life back on earth would have. Basically her character sprung into life once she got to Zeneshia. Due to this all her thought revolved around her love interest and the little bit she learns about life in this new place. And to make matters worse a major part of the story – the romance, is even worse than the typical instalove relationships found in young adult.

The thing is I really liked Zeneshia!! I liked the idea of SeQuence, which seemed to me an American take on the Asian idea of fate. I liked her grandmother who is a member of the council who rules over the land. I liked the idea of a world under the ocean. The different races were very cool, from Dante’s warrior race to the manipulators of Sequence, etc.

The problem was we were told about the world but nothing happened. There was no plot (aside from the 2 major events that I won’t reveal because it would ruin your anticipation of the story if you plan on reading this book!) If this were a straight romance set in an alternate world then this would be a great rendition. Romance readers don’t expect much plot beyond what brings the couple together or separates them. Here there was no tension about whether Dante and Alessia would be a couple – they committed to each other pretty early on and nothing threatened to shook that idea in a way that mattered. Here are some thoughts I has as I read:

“Quite a pedestrian book, not offensive but too light, why waste such a world?!”

“…it’s so flowery and overboard it makes you want to roll your eyes… every once in a while something cool is said that causes you to keep reading… not much plot though… the world building here sometimes good and sometimes so boring…”

“They declare themselves to each other again!! It’s very hard to take! There is a cool world and abilities but no plot! Ack!”

“She visits Dante’s family… boring but the world could be so cool… if only something would happen!”

In the end I unfortunately felt it was a tedious book… most read like this:

“After she handed me a sun-yellow woven basket, we took a stroll into the flower garden. The rain had stopped, but thick clouds covered the sky, promising more rain on the way. Hundreds of different types of colourful flowers brightened the exquisite garden. Aromatic fragrance wafted through the air in abundance, and with Zaira strolling next to me, I immediately began to relax.”

Such rich and imaginative ideas at play here but no execution… I really, really wanted it to be good. The two events that shall not be named are good and kept me reading, but with the drag of everything else it became mired in mud.

BOTTOM LINE: Romance Lovers Supernatural Slogfest.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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