ARC, Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, NetGalley, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

NetGalley Review: The Pearl Hunter by Miya T. Beck

Hey all, Sam here.

Guess what? I’ve already finished writing up tomorrow’s Weekend Writer post. I actually finished it last night, which was pretty cool. If they weren’t so time consuming I’d probably just completely finish a writing craft book and write up each of the sections at once and get everything scheduled weeks in advance. But since each post takes an hour or more to write up, that is not likely.

What I’d really like to be able to do is to have most of the posts ready a week in advance…with the obvious exception of the WIP Wednesday posts. We’re not quite to that point yet, mostly because I’m still not completely out of my reading slump, and so I’m basically reading books during the week that I review them.

But I’m thinking about having a readathon weekend for myself, to try and get myself ahead on things. And if I’m successful then I should be able to start getting my posts prepped earlier. So even though I would still need to sit down and write up posts at least every couple days, I would have a small bank of completed posts.

That’s my goal anyway. We’ll see how successful I am with it, considering that it still involves accomplishing a lot of reading and writing and blogging in a short time.

Anyway, let’s go ahead and jump into today’s NetGalley e-ARC review.

Set in a world inspired by pre-Shogun era Japan, this is a stunning debut fantasy in the vein of Grace Lin about how a young pearl diver goes to the ends of the earth to rescue her twin sister, who has been stolen by a ghost whale.

Kai and Kishi share the same futon, the same face, and the same talent for pearl diving. But Kishi is the obedient daughter, while Kai tries to push the rules, and sometimes they fight. Still, when Kishi is stolen and killed by the legendary Ghost Whale, nothing will stop Kai from searching for her, deep in the ocean, hoping for a way to bring her back to life.

But such a rescue is beyond the power of an ordinary mortal. Kai strikes a deal with the gods: she’ll steal a magic pearl in exchange for her sister’s soul. As she journeys across treacherous land scape, Kai must navigate encounters with scheming bandits, a power-hungry war lord, and a legion of conniving fox spirits. And when a new friendship becomes something almost as powerful as her love for her sister, Kai must make impossible choices and risk everything just to get home again.

Woven through with Japanese culture and legends, this many-layered story will grip readers of all ages.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

I feel like I’ve read a lot of similar stories to this one, or at least the different elements of this story stood out as very familiar. Hmm…twins where one is good and obedient and the other is a little more of a rule bender/breaker. The obedient twin gets taken and it is up to the other twin to go on a quest to save them. And let’s go ahead and toss in a few beings/creatures of legend and myth.

And this story gave very little time to settle into the characters and the world and the story. It literally started with so much action. In the first few chapters, Kishi was taken, Kai decided to take on a quest, went to visit a god and was given a quest, seeks out a magic item that will enable her to fly, and gets captured by bandits. It was just a lot of stuff happening very very quickly.

Yes, all that excitement keeps a reader flipping the pages quickly, but it also doesn’t give time to absorb what is going on. And I did read the whole book in just a couple sittings. Overall it was just too much going on pretty much all the time.

The descriptions were nice, quite lovely actually. There was wonderful imagery and it made it easy to picture things, which was great. And even though there were so many characters, the more important ones had plenty of descriptors to help differentiate them from others.

Kai had some sarcastically quippy lines, and Ren was amusing (I especially love the names of the horses), so it makes sense that they are our main focuses for the most part. And yes, it was nice that Kai’s crush on Ren didn’t go completely into relationship territory, because not every book needs to have that.

Oh, and the ending…there was definitely a lot going on there, and some of it didn’t make complete sense, especially since this is supposedly a stand alone book.

So, I don’t know. I enjoyed this book, even if it went at a breakneck pace, but for the most part it wasn’t anything that really stood out. It’s not a bad book, and if it sounds interesting to you, then I’d definitely recommend it.

The Pearl Hunter was released February 7th in the US, so you can pick up your own copy now.

That’s all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and we’ll be back with more geeky content.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s