When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice.
Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.
I’ve rounded this up to 3 because it wasn’t a bad book at all, it just wasn’t for me, but I also refuse to give it a bad rating when there were so many good things about it. So, personally, it was not a good read for me, but, I’m going to write this review focusing on mostly the positives and by giving you all an explanation of what I didn’t like but, that won’t be the focus.
So, let’s start off with the good! I LOVED the start! Leyla being a racer in an underwater dystopia? Just so many freakin yeses and so many cool aspects!
London Shah rocked the world-building, and the creativity of the premise of it all just made me so happy.
Leyla’s love for her father and grandfather, and the obvious familial love all around between them and even her friends was so heartwarming, seriously, just want to cuddle them all. So, I definitely found myself admiring her tenacity and will power to want to try and find her father. And I loved the reverence she had for her religion, it’s the sort of connection I love to read about.
Now. I’ll sandwich this, let’s go to the negatives of this reading experience for me.
Unfortunately, that was pretty much Leyla herself and because she’s the focus of the book, that meant this was not the read I wanted it to be for me personally. She was too annoying for me once we got past the nobleness of wanting to save her father. It astounded me how ill-equipped she was for the venture of saving her father, and I mean that on every scale but especially mentally.
Even knowing her father was kidnapped, and even with her Grandfather sending help in his best way possible, she resists help. And I get it, you don’t trust strangers, but she keeps trusting the government and is shocked each time it betrays her. So. That, that was probably the one thing I couldn’t handle. And you know what? It was a me issue not the book issue.
Again, that was the negative experience for me, but it’s an own voices book with such a brilliant dystopia setting that there’s no way I wouldn’t recommend this to people regardless of my feelings on it. And I still am definitely going to read. the sequel because I need answers.
Great book, just wasn’t for me, but still continued to intrigue me so much that I’m definitely reading the sequel. So 2.5 rating for me on a reading experience with the MC but it’s a 3 for amazingness.