Published by Createspace Independent Pub on February 18, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.
When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.
Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving...
Of Sea and Stone is the first book in the young adult fantasy/magic series called Secrets of Itlantis. I love the covers of this series. They have a very Josephine Angeleini Starcrossed series feel to them. Four books in the Secrets of Itlantis series have already been released and each of the book covers is done in a different color scheme, which I love. They go really well together, and if you are new to the series like I am, you will be able to enjoy them one right after another. (I am not sure yet if the series is complete or if there will be more than 4 books.) The Secrets of Itlantis is a Young Adult fantasy twist on the tale of Atlantis, and I have to say, I love what Kate Avery Ellison did with the underwater city. It all felt very magical and fantastical, and it is something that I would love to see made into a movie.
The characters in the story are wonderfully rich and complex. Aemi is a slave girl in her town, the Village of the Rocks. We only get to see her there for a little while before she is stolen away to under water and to Itlantis, but in that short time, we get a glimpse at just how awful it is to be a slave above the ocean. Now, I don’t think anyone is under a delusion that it would be glamorous to be a slave, but I really felt for her, because Aemi is a spunky girl and I could feel that spunk being suppressed right out of her. She was also an indentured in Itlantis, but here they didn’t have slavery. People became indenture’s to work off their crimes. Still not a perfect system, but it seemed better than above the water. One of the things I loved most about Kate Avery Ellison’s writing in this novel was that she made it feel sophisticated. She didn’t dumb things down. She made distinctions between similar terms like slave and indentured, but she made it all very accessible to young adults. Her writing felt very smart and clean. That alone makes me want to go out and buy more of her books.
Plot-wise Of Sea and Stone was a very inventive read. We got a ton of backstory and information on the set up of the cities that comprised the world of Itlantis. But it was never given in an information dump way. Some of it was disclosed in the visual descriptions of the cities some of it through Aemi’s lessons from her awesome “owner”-turned-teacher, and some of it was divulged through Aemi’s inquisitive nature and her many questions. Aemi is super resourceful and I loved that most of all about her. She is nice, but she is also shrewd, tough as nails, and a problem solver. I want to be friends with this girl. I love her as a main heroine.
The twists and turns kept me engaged in the story the whole time, and I felt like I flew through reading this book. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next. the ending of Sea and Stone kind of left all the readers in a lurch. I still have some questions. I felt like a few times, Kate Avery Ellison would take us 98% of the way there with a new twist or development, and I would still have something lingering as to that last 2%. Some question or what if. But I have a feeling those couple of things will be addressed in the next book. And speaking of the next book, bring it on please! I want to read it right now.
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