‘The Sea Witch’ by Sarah Henning – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

My Review

Lol this book is such a mess!!!

It aims to give an origin story to the Sea Witch from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and yes, it succeeds. The ending is a lot of trashtastic fun… But getting there…

WOW DID THIS DRAG ON AND FEEL LIKE A CONFUSED MUDDLE OF DULLNESS!!!!

What I did like is how this book echoed the original tale with a mermaid named Annemette coming to land to try and make the boy she loves, the crown prince Nik, feel the same way about her. But the spin here is that the this mermaid is aided by a girl named Evie who is secretly a witch and can’t shake the feeling that Annemette is somehow the embodiment of her deceased best friend Anna…

For the majority of the book we are treated to the interactions of Evie, Nik, Annemette and Iker who is Nik’s cousin and is the boy that Evie has the hots for!

What is interesting is that for much of the story we are treated not really to a fantasy novel but a novel about societal hierarchy and the limitations or indeed expectations placed on us due to our birth. Evie is from a lower class and is constantly looked down on by society as they see her as being a social climber rather than someone who has grown up alongside crown prince Nik with an honest love for him based on no expectation other than mutual friendship.

But yet this was all overplayed. I really wasn’t here for an exploration in the restrictions of social classes especially when the writing was so painfully poor. This book was overdone. The author was far too heavy handed with an over emphasis on unnecessary adjectives and descriptors. It’s difficult to explain but this book felt so chewy to read. I could easily have cut a 100 pages of writing from this and then perhaps the pacing would have felt a lot more natural.

And omg lol at the characters!!!

For the majority of the novel it was just super confusing! I swear I could never remember whether it was Evie or Anna that had tragically drowned because of such a sloppy and perplexing way that the flashbacks especially were written. They were crafted in this third person omniscient narrator style thing and just no… They lacked clarity, the perspective was muggy and it made it almost impossible to know what character was being written about at any given time. A particular low-point being the flashback after chapter 16 which seemed initially to be from Nik’s PoV and then it was Iker’s?????? Or was it the other way around?!? Who knows!! Just a very carelessly conceived flashback in my opinion that needlessly added to the confusion about what truly happened the day Anna drowned.

But then the climax happened.

Maybe at about 60/65% through the book….

AND THE BOOK TOOK OFF ON THE MOST INSANE JOYRIDE EVER!!
And my trashy heart was here for it. It was drama, twists, good versus bad, bonkers love declarations, surprising deaths…

I mean it was basically a fantastical soap opera and I loved it!!! #SorryNotSorry

So this is a weird one to try and rate.

The book took me nearly five days to read???? For a light ya fantasy??? With fairly large font??? And for four of those five days I basically did everything in my power other than read this book because it felt like such a chore…

BUT THEN I GOT TO THE TRASHY ENDING AND I WAS LIVING MY BEST LIFE WITH THE BATSHIT DRAMA!!!!

So I am left with a fondness for the book. I’m also left with a desire to read book two in this series which if you’d asked me if I was interested in reading at about the 50% mark in the book I would have been lmao no, what a silly question!!!!

So I’m thinking I’ll give this three stars just for that ending. And I’ll hope that book two just ratchets up the bonkers drama and delivers a book high in fantastical thrills and spills!

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28 thoughts on “‘The Sea Witch’ by Sarah Henning – Book Review

  1. LMAAOO you got me rolling with laughter! 😂🤣😂This review is insane and it makes me not want to read this because it sounds like an insanely hot mess but then I’m also hella intrigued by the soap opera dynamics and everything that happens after the climax?! I bought this (now I regret not just getting it on my Kindle but that cover is hella gorge) and have been looking forward to reading it but now I don’t know hahaha. My own trashy heart might really appreciate it though.FAB review, Emer! 💙💚💙

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    1. Oh SUCH a hot mess!!!!! And I should’ve hated it…… BUT THAT ENDING KILLED ME. Like such a lol I can’t with it. I just loved how utterly eye roll worthy it got. And I agree with you the cover is gorgeous…. It’s why I bought the sequel even before reading this lmao!!!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂

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  2. “This book was overdone” HATE it when that happens! And this is true mostly for the debut authors, you know! Is this the first one bu Sarah Henning?

    And MY GODDDD I AM JUST AS CONFUSED ABOUT READING THIS ONE NOW AS YOU ARE ABOUT WHETHER YOU LOVE IT OR FIND IT A VERY BIG L O L! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    I am still tempted to add it to my tbr JUST FOR THE FACT THAT YOU SAY THE ENDING WAS A LOT OF FUN AND OF COURSE I CANNOT RESIST THAT GORGEOUS BLUE COVERRR!! 😍😍❤️❤️❤️❤️ ANNDDDDDD because YOUR REVIEW WAS SOOO FUCKING AWESOMEEE! 🤣😍😍😍❤️❤️💕💕💕😘😘☔️🥰

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    1. Yes it’s her debut novel (at least I’m pretty sure it is) and you can 100% see the potential she had but also the inexperience. I think I loved the ending so much because I found it unintentionally hilarious. Everyone else in my book group who read it was like lol no… And yet I’m like yasssss gimme the trashtasticness 😂😂😂😂😂😂 <33333

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  3. ALL OF THEIR PROBLEMS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF THEY WOULD HAVE JUST TALKED IT ALL OUT!!!!!!!!!!……okay, I’m done. lmao. Great review and glad the ending saved it for you!

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  4. I actually received a copy of book 2 recently and after reading your review I think a lot of what you mentioned are things I wouldn’t really enjoy with this first book either! I still want to check it out b/c I’ve got it on my TBR anyways, but I guess I’ll just go in with lower expectations! Nice review 😅

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  5. OMGGG emer you have me so excited to READ THIS NOW THIS IS ON MY TBR AND THE cover is so gorgeous and i’ve been reading reviews and i’m like should I or no and now i’m so HYPE. aaaah lovely review 💜

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    1. Omg lol!!! I still don’t know if I truly rec this because lol it sucked for so much if it but that unintentionally hysterical ending had me laughing my butt off. I think I’m the only one in my book group who enjoyed the book at so though. Oops!!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

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