*First Line Friday 8/16/19* Sea Witch Rising- Sarah Henning

42800505. sy475 “The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

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“The sharpest of things keeps its edge even in the dullest of settings.”

*Arc Review* Sea Witch- Sarah Henning

“Witchcraft has no place except in the depths of hell…. Shall there be any devils on our shores, know you do not belong here nor in this world. The light will win and you shall be swallowed deep into the flames and returned to your horned maker.”

Ursula is my twin. We are both large and in charge and rude as hell. She is the villainess queen of all queens. So I was desperate to get my hands on this book to see an original origin story of the queen of the dark seas.

Throughout the entire book, I kept second guessing what was going to happen. We all know the story of the Little Mermaid and how she gets to be where she is. But I just didn’t want to believe that sweet, little innocent Evie turned into something pure evil.

With these origin stories, my heart always sticks with the villain throughout. We see the beauty of their heart and what tears it into a million pieces. I will say that the transformation of each character is shocking and also mesmerizing.

For what this was I wasn’t blown away but it was a decent story. The character and world building was good but a tad bit slow for my tastes. All the backstabbing made me giddy as hell and that was what I wanted more of. But we come out of this with a fantastic back story that sheds a lot more light on the past and the future.

Ursula: You’ll have your looks. Your pretty face and don’t underestimate the importance of “body language.” Ha!

NeverSea by Jenetta Penner & David R. Bernstein

NeverSeaA uniquely beautiful retelling of two beloved fairytale characters.


Can a pure, but broken heart fuel the war to control the NeverSea?

“The Little Mermaid & Peter Pan together in a sci-fi retelling.”

Forced under the sea, seventeen-year-old Arya fights, alongside her sisters, to take down the Syndicate—a group looking to genetically redesign humanity against their will. When a routine patrol goes horribly wrong, she reunites with Peter, the ousted former leader of the Lost Boys. Arya and Peter’s tortured past, filled with genetic experimentation, fuel their need for justice.

Years earlier, Peter left young Arya when she needed him the most, leaving her torn from James, the love of her life.

Now, Arya has no choice, but to trust Peter or risk losing everything.

In a future where a constantly rising sea has swallowed nearly all the land on Earth, Arya and Peter fight to regain control of Neverland, a massive floating settlement, now controlled by the Syndicate.

The abilities forced on them years ago, are now the weapons they need to fight back.

NeverSea is a uniquely woven retelling about Arya and Peter, two young people who were experimented on for years before escaping. In order to save their home, they will both have to use the powers that made them different, that made them weapons.


*I received an ARC at no cost from the author.*

This book was such a fun ride! I loved the idea of weaving two fairytale retellings together, and mixing in the genres dystopian and sci-fi. Reading from both Arya and Peter’s perspectives really brought the story together, and I was able to watch as the characters developed.

What I enjoyed the most about NeverSea:

  • The fairytale retellings: I thoroughly enjoyed this unique retelling of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. NeverSea is unlike any other retelling I have read; it was a perfect blend of fairytale retelling and sci-fi, two genres I hold close to my heart.
  • The battle scenes: the authors did a fantastic job writing the action scenes. There was not too much description and not too little. I felt like I was there battling alongside Arya and Peter!
  • The intense moments: Throughout the story, there are many moments where the characters have heated conversations, or in this case, intense moments. These intense scenes helped explain some of the tensions between the characters and the past and why those characters are the way they are.

Though I enjoyed NeverSea, I would have liked to have seen more of the tension between Arya and her love interest. I won’t spoil it, but something happens at the beginning of the novel that creates tension between the two characters; I would have liked to see that tension and the emotions last longer than they did. I would have also enjoyed to read more about the characters backgrounds and what happened in the early years before Arya and Perter become test subjects.

NeverSea is fast-paced and leaves you wanting more and wondering what will happen to these beloved characters. I will definitely be reading the next book! If you enjoy fairytale retellings, intense battle scenes, and beautifully described characters, NeverSea is a book for you!


NeverSea by Jenetta Penner and David R. Bernstein releases November 29, 2017 on Kindle.

Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

♥ Nikole