Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Will she keep fighting while her world is drowning?”
Wow! What a truly captivating book, one that I enjoyed immensely from start to finish! This author is definitely one to watch out for – Tides is a gripping YA urban fantasy novella and is part of The World of Shadows series, which, aside from this novella, is only available in Portuguese. Please please PLEASE translate this series, Patricia! 🤞 This book is an absolutely perfect introduction to a promising series, and is also a great start if you’re new to this genre (like I was!) I’m so thrilled to share my review of this book ahead of its release date on June 8th. I just know it’ll be a hit!
Years before Lilly Ashton was recruited, Ada Hughes had already caught the eye of the demon hunters. But what led Ada, the quiet and sweet girl from Diabolus Venator, to be recruited to fight supernatural creatures?
When children start to go missing in a fishing town, Ada Hughes starts to fear for her two little brothers’ safety. Tide Springs was never really safe for them but she has a plan to escape their toxic family environment.
While battling her own loneliness and ignoring her forbidden love, Ada is faced with one more unexpected twist. Mythological beings and an ancient demon-hunting order will change her life forever.
She is suddenly afflicted with questions… Is this a new reality or just a hallucination? Will she be able to face this new world while being confronted with the secrets of her hometown?
This book instantly had that something that made me want to keep reading, something that made me curious and intrigued me about the bigger picture! There is an unusual sense of darkness that is gently released to the reader as time passes, and it’s written exceptionally well. I loved Ada as a character and just how she saw the world, especially the lengths she goes to in order to look after her siblings. Her life isn’t the easiest, but I loved getting to know her, and it seemed the author had gotten so deep into her mind to help readers really connect with her. It was a beautiful thing to read! We soon learn about a number of disappearances within the town, and Ada’s fears for her brothers’ safety didn’t go unnoticed. The author has built up their father’s character well, even though we hadn’t actually met him at this point, and I already felt a little scared of him because of how brilliant the author’s words are. Shouldn’t he be the one protecting his children instead of forcing them to fear and loathe him? I loved how there was also a bit of secrecy – Ada seemed to have a plan for herself and her siblings, and I was very interested in what this plan was!
When we do meet Ada, Jonah and Adam’s father, I couldn’t help but feel an instant dislike for this character and the way he physically and verbally abuses them. Despite my strong feelings for this man, I absolutely loved how the author brought these scenes to life, and just how she’d created such strong characters you’re forced to remember. It was easy to feel a part of their little sibling group, and I felt myself rooting for this trio already. Just how would they get away from their father? The more we learn about Ada and her plans just highlights how strong and determined this wonderful character is and just how far she’s already come in protecting her brothers. We also learn more about Nick, a guy who seems to have such a big impact on her, but someone she’d never be able to act on her feelings with – his girlfriend is her best friend, Tayee. The book already had so much depth, but I was yet to really see the fantasy elements – the synopsis really intrigued me, and I was curious to see how the author would put her spin on a pretty ‘normal’ sounding family. I knew the best was yet to come! Such a strong, exciting start for the book!
Nick joins Ada to look for her father after an alcohol-fueled night causes him to pass out at the beach. The bond Ada and Nick share is just so strong, and it pained me knowing how they felt about each other and that it might be too late to do anything about it. I loved learning about just how he was there for her as her mother passed away, and I found these scenes so very heartwarming. It was incredible just how the author helps us get to know these characters on a deep emotional level, which I knew would set us up well for what was soon to come. As they come to Ada’s father’s rescue, he speaks of seeing a creature, half woman, half serpent, something that sounded dark and destructive. Not only that, but this man is sure he’s going to hell. How much truth was he giving them? Should Ada be afraid of her father’s claims? We’re not left waiting for long, however, as what we’re hit with next was so far from what I expected. Already, it was clear this author has perfected YA fantasy in her writing and I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I was enjoying each and every paragraph! Would Ada soon find herself in a world she no longer recognises?
I shared Ada’s terror as she finds herself face to face with this creature, and felt my emotions match hers as she discovers the lifeless bodies of those closest to her, combined with the cowardice of her father fleeing the scene instead of protecting his children. The author has written such an intense, perfectly paced scene filled with mythical creatures, pain, terror and even a glimmer of hope thanks to her rescuers. What the hell was going on here?! I was completely hooked on the story here, and I always had that feeling of needing to know what Ada’s next steps were. It was absolutely flawless and written to such perfection! I felt like I needed answers just as much as Ada did here, and the learning process of what we were experiencing filled me with intense feelings of enjoyment and thrill. After meeting with Mrs Sibyl, the ‘madwoman at the inn’ with these crazy stories about ‘fictional’ beings, Ada finally gets some answers and believes her claims. She’s a fantastic character, and has a very important and fascinating story. After all these years, it seemed history was repeating itself… but what did that mean for Ada and her future? I was dying to see how this story ended!
Meeting Ada’s ‘guardian angels’ gave us some of the answers we needed to put each piece of the puzzle together. They were hunters, hunters of demons, which led them directly to Ada’s home after the creature attacked. These scenes of conversation were just as gripping as the action packed scenes in their own way, with the author showcasing her talent of writing at every possible angle. I couldn’t fault any of it! The author has cleverly increased the levels of danger the further into the book we go, and it was quite reassuring that these hunters confirmed that this lamia creature wasn’t just a figment of Ada’s imagination. It was real, it was dangerous, and it could strike again at any moment if they didn’t act fast. We can see Ada’s courage blossoming before our very eyes and her confidence and bravery felt very contagious. She needed answers, and if she had to ride with these hunters and do her part in stopping this thing, then that’s what she was going to do! I could read about Ada’s journey forever and a day, but I was also feeling impatient – I needed to see what this ending had in store and what Ada would do next!
The ending of the story was so explosive! The author gives readers more of her suspenseful action scenes; Ada and the hunters find themselves face to face with the creature that attacked Ada and her family, fighting for survival. I felt tense, unsure of the outcome, but it seemed Ada had already proven herself. Could she play her part in keeping others safe after losing so much? The author also brought me intense joy as Ada and Nick manage to get some all important time alone. That heartwarming note as well as the touch of heartbreak that came shortly after created the perfect balance for the ending of the story, and the start of the next! Ada is offered a place to stay, and it’s the perfect place to learn and make sense of everything that had happened to her. There was a whole new world waiting for her, and I knew she wouldn’t regret her decision! A fantastic ending to an unforgettable book, one that already seems to have wormed its way into my heart. This book has been the perfect novella to start off the series, and I’m hoping and praying the next books will be translated to English for me to devour!
This book surprised me on so many levels – even though I haven’t read The World of Shadows series, I enjoyed reading about the early days of Ada’s adventures and trauma, and I found myself daydreaming about what would happen in the main books of the series! The wording and language used in this book combined with the author’s exceptional storytelling skill made it incredibly addictive, even for a genre I don’t tend to read much. The characters were perfectly developed and likeable, and the mythical creatures were as terrifying as they were fascinating. I really cannot fault this book in any way – Patricia Morais is certainly an author I’ll be keeping an eye on in future. A perfect five star read!
A huge thank you to the author, Patricia Morais, for my copy of this book to read and review (even though I’ve just pre-ordered it to show my support and my love for this story!) You can pre-order your own copy of Tides over on Amazon, available on Kindle.