Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

October 12, 2014 Review 24 ★★★

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 414
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Series: The Elemental Trilogy #2
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.


I appear to be a bit of a black sheep when it comes to THE PERILOUS SEA. I really enjoyed THE BURNING SKY but I wasn’t too impressed with its sequel. It probably wasn’t the best book to pick up after HEIR OF FIRE, either, since I loved that one so much.

It’s been awhile since I read the first book and was hoping for a small recap but instead we are thrown into somewhat of a mysterious situation: the characters have a sort of amnesia and have forgotten almost everything about themselves, including their name. Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated, especially after I expected familiarity and just ended up more confused. 

Another thing that bothered me with this amnesia plot: View Spoiler »

This style of narration, jumping from the past to the present every other chapter, is not for everyone. While I liked that the author took a different approach and tried something new,I almost wish the story had been told like THE BURNING SKY was. Although, this is a personal preference.

Those who like twists and turns will love the unpredictability of this installment; when you think you know something, the situation changes completely. I think I would have enjoyed this more if the twists and turns had been less complicated, even the characters admit some things are confusing-sometimes even paradoxical. If you’re like me and get caught up on little details and try to put everything together and make sense of it you might not be able to enjoy the actual story as much.

It may seem like I really disliked THE PERILOUS SEA but I did enjoy it, most of the elements I liked from THE BURNING SKY came back, and there was more magic, more badassery, and pretty good character development. I just can’t help but be weighed down a bit by the rest.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.2

24 Responses to “Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas”

  1. Nara

    I definitely would have liked a bit of a recap at the start as well! With the whole amnesia thing, I was like wtf is going on. But it seemed like the author wanted us to feel like that, so I was okay with it in the end.
    I think the biggest thing about this book that makes me want to continue to the third is that damned cliffhanger! Seriously, what sort of ending was that -_-
    Nara recently posted…Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: September

  2. Joy (Joyousreads)

    *facepalm* Well that doesn’t help, does it? If they’ve forgotten who they were, how are you – the reader – supposed to remember what happened? Lol. I didn’t have a good time reading the first book, unfortunately. So this one is far from my mind to read. I hope you’ll have a better time on the next book, though.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 123

    • Alise

      Right? It’s an interesting way to go into the story but it wasn’t for me because I was already so confused, ha. Ah, I see. Thank you!

    • Alise

      I’m not sure what I expected since this one felt so different than the Burning Sky but yeah. Aw, you did? :D I hope you like it!

  3. A Canadian Girl

    I didn’t read The Burning Sky, Alise, but I skimmed the early bits of it and couldn’t really get into it. It’s good that the sequel has more of the elements that made the first book great but it’s too bad the narration style is a bit weird and that the characters develop some sort of amnesia. I’m firmly in the camp that sequels should be less confusing than previous installments.
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

    • Alise

      Yeah I know a few people that felt the same about the first book. Yeah, exactly! I think the same, especially since it’s been so long since readers read the first book, it wasn’t the best idea to start it with the characters having amnesia.

  4. Kirsty-Marie

    Ugh, that’s not fair. I love series’ because of getting back into a world with familiar characters and then it switches it up on you? No. :( I don’t mind a good amnesia story, but not that much outside of Murder/Thrillers etc and it sounds like it already has so much going on. Aaaand I read the spoiler, yeah, I don’t like that at all. :/ Sucks it wasn’t as good as the first. :(
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: This is How it Ends

  5. Alise

    Exactly! Especially when you’re expecting something and get the complete opposite. That is true, that type of plot can work well in thrillers. It wasn’t too bad here because it all does come together in the end somewhat. Yeah :/

    • Alise

      Glad I could do that! Yeah, I do the same all the time, if I see so many positive reviews for a book I almost wonder if I need to go back and reread it like I’m missing something. It sure is! :)

  6. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    It seems to me that any book one picks up after HoF is BOUND to be a letdown (with a few exceptions of course) I still need to read this one myself but I am planning on doing so soon! I’m glad that most people you know did enjoy this one BUT I am sad that you didn’t enjoy it more. I remember thinking the attraction between Iolanthe and Titus was a bit too sudden the first time around so their insta-love redux here might just bother me too! The jumping around the timeline could go both ways for me, I might get stuck in the details as you did or I might get lucky and able to go with the flow. We’ll see but I’m looking forward to comparing notes with you when I read this one! Thanks for the lovely review ^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Beautiful Ashes

    • Alise

      Aha, this is true. Yeah, I wouldn’t be too worried, I could have definitely been affected by a post Heir of Fire bias ;) Ooh, yeah, that might be tough, I really didn’t like the romance in this installment. For sure :D Let me know when you get to it :)

  7. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    I think maybe I won’t go through the same thing you did because I read The Burning Sky recently? But I’m not sure. I’ll be keeping an eye out for those problems you mentioned. (And OMG I almost pressed on the spoiler tag. I’m crazy!). Thanks for your honest review, Alise! :)

    • Alise

      Yeah, maybe! Although I’m curious because I wonder if you will notice the differences between the books even more. If you read it, let me know :) Haha, those little buttons are tantalizing ;) Sure!

  8. Tiffany (AboutToRead)

    I’m glad you still enjoyed this one. I was a bit frustrated at first too, but I actually loved jumping from past to present. After I figured out what the hell was going on (probably about 30 pages in), I thought it ramped up the anticipation.

    I do think it would be hard to go from Heir of Fire to another fantasy because it is Heir of Fire!!

    • Alise

      That’s definitely true, I like how it cut off in suspenseful places, it did made you keep reading.

      That is also true ;)

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