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Sarah Underwood

Autor/a de Lies We Sing to the Sea

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Penelope’s twelve maids of were slaughtered at the return of King Odysseus. Poseidon was furious with the discovery of forlorn bodies consumed by the sea. Thus creating the curse of Ithaca; annually the king must order the murder of the 12 maids marked by Poseidon, or Poseidon will drown Ithaca.

Leto was marked, hanged, and then saved because of Poseidon. She wakes in the waters of Pandou to be greeted by Melantho. With a year until the next hanging, Leto trains to end the curse. What will end it? The death of Prince Mathias.

Lies We Sing to the Sea is woven with secrets, romance, and magic. It is a reimagining of the Ancient Greek Odyssey. Sarah Underwood has produced a captivating easy read with tasteful amounts of foreshadowing and flashbacks. Narrators animated the joys, sorrows, and fears the characters experienced. Lies We Sing to the Sea is a delightful book for people who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series.
… (més)
RandyMorgan | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Jul 12, 2023 |
No, just no.
This book has so many troubles I don't even know on where to start.
The language is even for a YA most of the times really simple, which leads to the fact that there is no atmosphere whatsoever coming up.
It is supposed to play in Greece? Ja, no, not feeling it at all, the story could have played anywhere there was nothing screaming Mediterranean to me.

The character development was sloppy, which can be linked as well to the limited writing skills.
When the characters are not acting like spoiled brats, they act irrational and/or confusing.
Besides that they do not "act" in a way one would expect to be fitting for the time the story plays in, they also do not speak in that way.
Instead of having the feeling to be somewhere on an isolated Greek island with sunshine, a couple of centuries ago, I got the feeling that some Middle schoolers reluctantly tried to put on a play with a very tight budget in a damp gym somewhere in a rainy village in Britain.
Also, why the frell do you name the main guy Mathias in a story that supposedly takes place in ancient Greece? The name choices in general were very often questionable as well, as if there was no research done at all. (Well, looking over the whole work, I guess there wasn't really any research done.)

Going back to the writing style, there was so much repetition! The book could have been done in half the time if the author would not have repeated herself constantly. Which was especially bad in the chapters about Melantho, which I guess was the attempt to build up suspense about her history, but which ended up only as extremely annoying and boring.

The idea of the story by itself sounded interesting, but the execution was mainly chaotic. Especially the giant confusing plot hole about the fate of the 12 girls that are getting killed every year. On one page it is said "No one of the people knows what's happening to them" only to get contradicted on the next page as "The girls are marked and getting ratted out by villagers".

I had hopes after the first chapter which was good, but the longer the story went on the more angrier I got with it, in the end I "hate finished" it (should have DNF'd, but oh well, now I wasted time on a bad book).
At least the end was good again as it was the only time where the author dared to do something which was in the tradition of Greek dramas, can't make up though for the utter train wreck the rest of the book it.
It might have been a good idea to shelf this and come back to it later with more research and more experience in writing.

A hat tip to the agent though who was able to get this published and if the rumors are true, getting a film deal out of it, well, I at least know that I won't watch it.
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Black-Lilly | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | May 25, 2023 |
A complicated tale set in a complicated world. It has plenty of intrigue, interesting characters, some likable, others not, a reveal that unfolds slowly, but in a far from boring way and the ultimate in bittersweet endings. Altogether a terrific story from a new writer that I hope continues creating more dive-into stories.
sennebec | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Apr 2, 2023 |
Don’t let the average rating on Goodreads fool you. Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood is a stunning story. It is not a retelling of The Odyssey, as these GR reviews would have you think, and there is nothing wrong with the fact that Ms. Underwood did not read The Odyssey in its entirety. Instead, Ms. Underwood takes one very minor character from The Odyssey, whose arc one can understand in two sentences, and imagines an entire future for her, creating her own mythological story. As a debut novel, what Ms. Underwood accomplishes is impressive, and Lies We Sing to the Sea is a beautiful story.

The moment we meet Leto, as a servant dresses her for her impending death by hanging, we know that Lies We Sing to the Sea will not be an easy story to experience. Leto is so full of anger and grief that her scenes are heartbreaking. Even after she meets and falls in love with Melantho, Leto’s past continues to rule her emotions, as well as they should. Some experiences are difficult to forget or forgive, and being hanged is one of them.

At the same time, Leto has a fragility that melts your heart and allows you to forgive her thirst for vengeance. Leto reminds you of what it feels like to be utterly alone, with no one to watch your back or help you when you desperately need it. Her need for Melantho and her attraction to Mathias stems from that need for human connection, which had been missing from her life. This fragility and her other strong emotions draw you to her as a character. She is an underdog in every sense of the word, and there is nothing you want more than for her to get everything her heart desires.

At the heart of Lies We Sing to the Sea is the yearly ritual killing of twelve girls. Ms. Underwood uses Mathias to look at the classic conundrum of whether you kill one, or in this case twelve, to save the many. There is a reason sociologists continue to use this scenario to research humankind; a person’s answer tells so much about their values and their sense of moral obligation. Everyone likes to think they would not let anyone die, but rarely is the answer as simple as that. The answer becomes decidedly more complicated when discussing a deal involving one of the major Greek gods. After all, Mathias has proof that ignoring the ritual means disaster for his people.

Ms. Underwood’s solution to Mathias’ (and Leto’s and Melantho’s) problem is as elegant as it is correct. Her solution, the action Leto must take to end the ritual killing of twelve females every year, balances the scales Odysseus threw out of balance when he killed Penelope’s original twelve maidens. While it doesn’t make what Leto must do any more manageable, there is poetic justice in the necessary action that is satisfying.

One of the more spectacular elements of Lies We Sing to the Sea is Ms. Underwood’s deep dive into ancient Ithaca. In many ways, she brings Ithaca to life in a way that puts all other Greek stories to shame. Moreover, we don’t see one aspect of life in Ithaca. We learn what living in the palace among royalty was like and what it meant to toil outside the palace gates. Ms. Underwood presents as thorough a picture as one could imagine, and her story is the better for it.

Lies We Sing to the Sea is a thoughtful, engaging, and stellar novel that deserves to be on everyone’s radar. It is not another myth retelling. Ms. Underwood goes beyond that to create a vibrant world in which everything from the people to their problems to the solutions is as complex as it would be if it were a true story. The glimpses of magic and godlike powers enhance this already magical story. All three main characters, Leto especially, play on your sympathies and earn their way into your heart. Sarah Underwood’s debut novel is most impressive, and she is an author we will all want to keep our eye on in the future.
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jmchshannon | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Mar 6, 2023 |



½ 3.5

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