An eARC review: Feathertide – Beth Cartwright

My second NetGalley ARC since my resurgence from the blogging depths – no I’m not dramatic at all! This one caught my eye with its beautiful cover, I hadn’t heard of the book/nor the author, and it’s always good to try something new, so I thought why not and voila, I was accepted.  I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review before release. 

52099370._SY475_A girl.

A secret.

A life-changing journey.

Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met.

The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted.

And Marea will never forget what she learns there

I’m going to be completely honest here, I am totally baffled by this book. I know that I enjoyed it overall, and this another one of those moments where I wish the star rating system on Goodreads was more complex. As I rated it 3 stars, which is very middle of the road, but I couldn’t quite rate it a 4 either, so the option of somewhere in between would’ve been perfect! 

So, this is where the book starts to not compute in my brain, I’m okay with reading more slow-paced reads, reads where it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey and the development. The more ‘domestic’ based reads where no, not a whole lot actually happens but you read because you’re invested in the characters.
And this was definitely a journey read – however I felt very lost for the first half this journey. Either I took a wrong turn or read the sign wrong because I felt thrown in the deep end and left to float there. We aren’t given any real introductions to the world, or really the characters and whilst I’m all for having a gradual welcome into a story, rather than one big info dump at the beginning. But I just felt like I wasn’t given any information to go off at all – which I’ll admit, definitely hampered my enjoyment at the beginning. 

This was by far my biggest issue with the book though, and I did for the most part, really enjoy it! I thought the writing was absolutely beautiful – it was that, that truly drew me in. It flowed so effortlessly through the pages (or screen, as I did read this on my Kindle..). It read so fantastically whilst keeping us completely grounded with the MC.
Whilst I found that sometimes the pacing lacked any real rhythm, it seemed to drag on the parts that I would’ve deemed more insignificant and unnecessary, and then rush through the scenes that felt impactful. And along these lines, the story did seem to get lost in itself and flounder – although an argument could be made on how this reflects our MC for the majority of the book! It was very much the writing that kept the story ploughing on. 

Our MC, Marea, is a girl looking for her place the world, finding her Dad and finding herself. She isn’t a powerhouse of personality – but she is quietly fierce and brave. An example of being strong internally and I really enjoyed and learned from reading from her POV.
She thrived in adventure and I for one, revelled in her journey, I became invested in thsi insecure and innocent woman – she was finally having real experiences and discovering the broad spectrum of emotions that come with being 18. It truly reminded me of being that age. I had gone through so many of the same feelings and questions like Marea, and some parts read like I was looking into a mirror. 

Lastly, I can’t talk about Feathertide, without talking about it’s setting – the City of Murmurs – reminiscent of Venice, it sounds simply picturesque and I would love nothing more than to visit. It seems completely idyllic, there’s not been a fantasy world that’s appealed to me this much in quite a long time. From the winding cobbled city streets, to the canals that run through it, to the quirky, interesting shops and people that reside there.
I’ll be on the next boat please and thank you! 

So, in fairness, for the most part, I did enjoy this book, it was an easy read and touched upon and explored some good things  – I would wholly recommend it for a little escapist fun. 

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