Paperback. 112 pages.
About The World Gives Way:
"We are a people who do not forget.
Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.
Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.
Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek.'"
Flowers for the Sea was a completely unexpected story that took a direction I did not expect, but that I found incredibly intriguing. We follow Iraxi, a pregnant woman aboard a ship in a post apocalyptic world. This was an incredibly atmospheric and enveloping novella that really made me feel as though I was right there with the characters on that ship and feeling many of the same fears and struggles that they were. Content warnings should be noticed for traumatic pregnancy and birth, as well as trauma in general, and I was pleased to see that the author included some warnings at the start of the book.
There is a lot of tragedy and trauma in this story, which I think was handled carefully and beautifully, and I could understand Iraxi's difficulties and was captivated to see how she ended up navigated everything around her. That being said, I did struggle to connect with the characters, which I think was due to the writing style that, although very beautiful and well-written, seemed to keep me at arm's length from the characters themselves. I also found some of Iraxi's actions didn't really fit or seem like something I would expect in certain situations, such as active labor, which also took me out of the story somewhat. I would have loved to get a bit more world-building and context as well, but I understand that that isn't always the case in novellas.
Since I read this book as an audiobook, I'd also like to mention some notes on that as well. I found the narrator, Amina Koroma, to be a perfect fit for this story. Her delivery was perfect and so well done, it really felt like I was being told this story directly from Iraxi. I think this story actually worked really well as an audiobook and I would definitely recommend it, as I think it captured the vibe of the novella perfectly and added some extra personality to the characters.
Overall, this was a compelling and well-written novella that I would absolutely recommend! I can't say it was exactly my cup of tea, but it is a great story that I think a lot of people would enjoy.