Title: All the Stars and Teeth
Author: Adalyn Grace
Pub. Date: February 4, 2020
Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
This will be a spoiler free review.
I think this book was a tad overhyped. Overall, I definitely enjoyed it, and I got an Odyssey vibe from it. I loved how vibrant the world was, how easily it was to picture. I enjoyed the characters, for the most part – especially Bastian, but I think we’ve established that I’m absolutely a sucker for pirates. It’s a weakness, what can I say.
With that being said, I didn’t really like Amora – well, I’m kind of impassive about her. I didn’t care for Ferrick, but if he and Vataea were to be a thing in book 2, I think that could be really cute. Ferrick just seemed clingy and entitled, but at the same time I could understand his frustrations with Amora. He was willing to make the best out of a pretty crappy situation, whereas she just wanted to do whatever the hell she wanted. I think that’s where my frustration comes in with her. Not the fact that she won’t give Ferrick more than a passing glance, because she’s wishy-washy in what she wants, the manipulative and also kind of entitled. I just felt like I really couldn’t connect with her character.
Give me more cocky, swoony pirates in YA please. I want them all. Like, shit. I want to be a maiden on a YA pirate ship with a Captain who can’t stop staring at me and making dirty innuendos LOL. Also, there’s something about the phrase “you wicked woman” when a pirate says in, grinning and groaning. You know what I’m talking about…at least I hope you do, or this whole tangent just became really awkward.
To be honest, I was also kind of let down by the ending of the book. A lot of the big reveals felt like they were there for shock value over anything else. From Bastian’s big reveals, to the reveals about soul magic and then everything that goes down in the capitol…I was underwhelmed. The pacing felt off the whole time I was reading. Some scenes felt like they dragged, but time seemed to pass very quickly.
I don’t think this is a bad book, and it makes for a really quick, enjoyable read – I read it in a handful of hours in one sitting. It’s got a vibrant, interesting world, with an interesting magic system, an interesting history, mermaids and pirates. The journey to and across various islands and encounters with mermaids and sea monsters lends to the Odyssey vibe – not complaining at all – and I get why people really love this book. I’m definitely interested in finding out what happens next, so I’m looking forward to book 2. I’m just bummed I didn’t love this as much as I expected. It’s out now, so if you’ve been wondering, I say check it out!