FABLE (Fable #1)
Written by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books, September 1, 2020
My star rating – 5 stars
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
I seem to have had quite the falling out with YA lately. But leave it to Adrienne Young to bring me back! I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of her first book, Sky In The Deep, and I immediately fell in love with her writing. It’s so vivid, full of emotion, and an atmosphere that finds a way to suck you into the story fully and completely. This book was no different – and it was everything that I hoped it would be!!
Our main character Fable is left on an island to fend for herself mere hours after the death of her mother. Her father carves a tattoo/scar into her arm, tells her that if she can make her way back to him then he will give her everything she’s owed, and leaves her to fend for herself amid thieves and the worst kind of people. Being raised by one of the most respected of traders, she finds a way to survive conditions that most wouldn’t – and don’t, in fact. When her life is literally seconds away from being taken, she makes a deal with West, a man she’s been trading precious gems with for years, and buys passage on his ship to go and find her father.
One of my problems with YA lately is that everything feels familiar. The story, the characters, the setting. It just feels like something i’ve read before, even if the premise is something unique. Adrienne Young defy’s any expectation. If you read the above paragraph, it sounds like this idea has been done before, right? She makes her stories feel so fresh and unique! Just the little nuances of how she writes things. You expect the “She released a breath she didn’t know she was holding” line, but it never comes. She takes the smallest of sentences in directions you just don’t expect. So if you think you’ve read a story like this before, give it a chance – it will surprise you!
When you’re dealing with a book that’s set mainly on a ship at sea, you would think that you’re to be overloaded with ship terminology and how sails and other shit works. Nope! Not here! Yeah, ok, you’re going to get some of that, but you’re not going to spend page after page reading about things that don’t apply. She gives you just enough information about the workings of the ship to understand what the characters are doing, and no more. I appreciated the hell out of that! I didn’t feel like I was spending time reading about things that didn’t matter in the long run and I could continue with the story itself.
Another thing I appreciated? The romance!! I fully expected this to be a romance where “his eyes were as blue as the ocean they were sailing in” kind of bull shit. Thank god that line never came because I might have thrown the book clear across the room! lol. The romance was slow – really slow. It wasn’t an instantaneous spark that ignited as soon as their eyes locked. It took time to build trust and any sort of spark in that department. West wasn’t just some “mysterious pirate guy” …. ok he was totally a mysterious pirate guy, but in the best sort of way. He was a protective sort who took care of those he loved, all the while keeping his distance. We got to learn more about him as a person before we were trust into looking at him as a love interest. It was really well done! And when the steam turned on……. I need more steam! Book two needs to bring the flames!!
There was also a bit of magic in here as well. It wasn’t explored enough at all, but I can hope that there’s more in book two!
Fable as a character – LOVED her! She was smart and spicy! She very much took influence from both of her parents and applied that in her day to day life. She also had some serious survival instincts after basically growing up alone on an island of thieves and fending for herself. And sassy! She was as fiery as her red hair and made me snort laugh a time or two!
The only thing I didn’t like? The relationship with her father. These thoughts aren’t really spoilery but some might see it that way. So if you don’t want to know anything at all, skip this paragraph! So her mother dies and her father basically claims he can’t take care of her. If she makes her way off the island and finds her way back to him, she will get everything she deserves. So, she makes her way off the island, finds her father, and he gives her something then basically says go away. He wanted nothing to do with her! He loved her – a lot – and that much was obvious. It was also obvious that he was doing this for her own protection. If people knew that she was his daughter, she could get hurt just to get at him. So I KNOW that he was doing this for her protection. But it was SO CLEAR that she’s just as determined that he is….. so why not take her on and protect her in person? Keep her close? Well……. then we wouldn’t have the same book, that’s probably why lol. I get it, but it was just so infuriating at times. I wanted more of their relationship. It never came.
If you’re looking for a unique story with romance, a little bit of magic, smart assed characters, and atmosphere in spades, YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE!! Warning though – if you don’t like cliffhanger endings….. stay FAR AWAY from this one until you can get your hands on book two. This book ruined me and put me in a bit of a slump because all I could think about was what came next! I’m serious folks, I NEED to know!!
Until next time, happy reading!