Review – The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Adrienne Young - The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sept. 2019) detail
The Girl the Sea Gave Back
  • Writing - 8/10
  • Development - 7/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)


Author: Adrienne Young
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Book Description:
The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again – a home.


The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the second novel by Adrienne Young, this time following young Tova, a Truthgonue isolated from her clan.


The Girl the Sea Gave Back

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the sequel to the Adrienne Young’s popular first novel, Sky in the Deep. Both novels are set in the same world but focus on different characters and driving plots. Because of this, if you haven’t read one, but are interested in the other, isn’t a major concern. If you haven’t read Sky in the Deep but want to jump right into The Girl the Sea Gave Back, you can do so with little issue. You’ll just miss out on some of the world-building and character references.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back follows Tova, a Truthtongue separated from her clan, living amongst the Svell. The Svell fear and hate her, but not so much as to avoid using her particular talent. You see, Truthtongues have the ability to cast and read runes, and that is exactly what the Svell want her for. That is, right up until everything changed for Tova.


Adrienne Young - The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sept. 2019)The Girl the Sea Gave back is an immersive and gut-wrenching story, and in many ways is the follow-up fans had been hoping for. It’s connected to the world we already know, but also tells its own story.

One thing to be aware of, before picking up The Girl the Sea Gave Back; it has a different feel and tone than Sky in the Deep. So fans should alter their expectations accordingly. Doing so will probably increase your enjoyment of the newest novel.

There were things to love about this novel and things that could have been done differently. I love that it felt different from the first novel, while still being clearly of the same world. I especially love that characters from the first novel made an appearance here. Meanwhile, the novel did at times feel like it was lacking some emotional impact, especially in regards to the love story being told. The core of the subplot was there, and it had a good foundation. It just needed a few more scenes to flesh it out a bit more, to add to the depth of it.


The Girl the Sea Gave Back started off in the thick of things, only to turn back around and take some time to explain what was actually going on. That’s not a bad thing—it’s a great way to hook readers into the plot, actually. Although it did at times leave readers feeling like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Tova’s character was a complex one, thanks to the situation she had been put in. It was interesting to see her learn and adapt to her surroundings, and overall try to find a way that’ll allow her to survive. To a lesser extent, the characters around her also got a chance to grow alongside. Some more than others, naturally.

It did feel like the world was smaller, this time around. Maybe it’s because it was set in a world already familiar, but I felt myself pining to see more details and more of the other tribes and clans. Perhaps the next novel (if there is one) will do this.


The Girl the Sea Gave Back was an interesting and quick read. Tova made for a perfect main character, partially because of how flawed and human she really was. And of course, it was great to see this world once again. Now we just have to say goodbye once more. Hopefully not for long.

I don’t regret for a minute taking the time to read the Girl the Sea Gave Back, though I won’t be surprised to hear if this novel gets some mixed reviews. It’ll make for a decent follow-up novel, or a great standalone, as odd as that may sound. And honestly, I really am looking forward to seeing what Adrienne Young comes up with next.

To find a comic shop near you, visit or call 1-888-comicbook

Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!

We are looking for new writers! If you are interested in joining the Word of the Nerd team, click here to fill out an application

Bringing out the inner nerd in everyone!

About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

  • NoD_Black_Tall.png-e1582139137446.png
  • New CBC bonus gifts-2
  • 300x250
  • Shop Custom Removable Vinyls from Fathead! Turn your photos into professional prints, decals, & murals - Click Here!
  • Free Domestic Shipping Over $80 120x600
  • Metallica The Master Collection Banners

Check out our YouTube Channel

%d bloggers like this: