The Starless Sea is a very whimsical, lyrical fantasy novel revolving around a man who picks up a book in a library and finds a story from him childhood in the pages.
To be totally honest I was completely lost for the first half of this book. It was really hard for me to stay focused on the story and actually comprehend what was happening. It jumps back and forth so often between Zachary’s point of view and the fairy tales that it came across a little nonsensical to me. However, after that half way point I really got settled into the story and was able to understand and appreciate how everything was tied together.
All of these characters in this book are very diverse and distinct. Each one of them has a purpose in the novel and interconnects in such a fascinating way. I really liked Zachary; he was very relatable and realistic to me. He was naïve but still questioned everything that was happening around him which I appreciated. Dorian I was a little skeptical about at the start. We aren’t given a lot of background information about him and I wanted to learn a bit more about where he comes from and what he did with Allegra all those years.
The romance aspect came across a little insta-lovey to me. They didn’t have enough substance for me to fully commit to that story line, however I was able to appreciate how they come together after experiencing everything that happens in the harbor. I was more fascinated by the Keeper and Mirabel; I wanted more interaction between them and to learn more about their history as well.
I have come to the realization that I don’t really like this kind of fantasy novel. There is not really any structure to the magic system and there aren’t really any rules or restrictions that are explained. You kind of just have to go with the flow of the novel and accept what were given and learn things as we go. This whimsical style just doesn’t gel with me personally.
Once I was able to really get my bearings in the story, I was very much engaged and wanted to know what was going to happen next. There is definitely a level of unpredictability and tension on the book was kept me invested in that second half of the plot. I was still a confused at the end about how the new harbor would be established…. especially since they are now on the surface? I definitely think this is a book that I will need to reread just to get everything to sink in!
⭐️3/5 stars confusing yet whimsical