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Child of a Hidden Sea (Hidden Sea Tales #1)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  528 ratings  ·  134 reviews
One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.

The world is Stormwrack, a series of isl
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Tor Books
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Althea Ann
Great fun! I challenge you to read this book and come away from it without wishing that you, too, could acquire a travel pass to the world of Stormwrack!

Sophie Hansa, 24, is procrastinating about defending her thesis, feeling a bit like she's in her brilliant younger brother's shadow, and having a bit of existential ennui. In an attempt to contact her birth family (she's adopted), she gets a bit stalker-ish... and then ends up accidentally catapulted into a world other than our own - and into th
This review was originally posted on Avid Reviews:

It has been a while since I have read a “portal to another world” fantasy, so I found myself looking forward to reading Child of a Hidden Sea, which is the first book in a new series. I found myself quite surprised when reading this book, as it was nothing like my expectations. Even though I did have some problems with the novel, overall I found it to be a fresh perspective on a familiar fantasy trope, and a
Before I begin this review, let me state for the record: this book was okay, but I wanted to like it so much more than I actually did. I am not too proud to admit that the cover sucked me in, and I completely bought into its promises of pirates, swashbuckling, and swoon-worthy romance. I was disappointed on all counts, but pleasantly surprised by some other aspects.

When I first began Child of a Hidden Sea, it took me a few chapters to get used to Sophie’s first-person narration, since it seemed
I received Child of a Hidden Sea for review from NetGalley shortly before it was released in June. It looked interesting - a seafaring-based portal world with political intrigue, mystery, and magic. It is also not a Young Adult novel, which definitely appealed. The synopsis promised to have plenty for me to love. Well, I liked it ok enough, but I can’t say I loved it. It was entertaining, and I am interested enough to read a sequel if there is one, but I also feel kind of ambivalent about it and ...more
Olga Godim
I received this Kindle ARC through NetGalley from the publisher, Tor.

The story starts with the protagonist Sophie being tossed into the sea by a tornado, kind-of like Dorothy and Oz. One moment, she is in her home town San Francisco, and the next she is falling into salted water. Good thing she is an excellent swimmer and a trained diver, but all the same she feels as disoriented as the reader. What’s going on, she wonders, and I wondered with her.
It took some time for the story to hit its stri
Find this and many other reviews at Geekritique!

It’s become an annual tradition of mine to head over to New York Comic Con each year, buy a bunch of stuff that I tell myself I’ll read, use, etc., and then never do it. I’ve got piles of books from NYCC over the years that have totally gone untouched due to time and moving on to the next thing. One of these books, as you can probably already guess, is Child of a Hidden Sea – A. M. Dellamonica’s latest fantasy novel. I found it perched nicely in it
I left Child of a Hidden Sea feeling very, well, satisfied. This book is a lot of fun, and many of the complex topics are handled with poise and grace. The world building was well done, despite the fact that some points will require readers to leave their questions at the door and just accept some things as they are presented. However, Dellamonica did the impossible by making portal fantasy work this well. I’m not sure if this is the first book in a series, but I hope it is. There is plenty of r ...more
Sophie is determined to find her birth parents. But when she finds her mother, there isn't the grand reunion she was hoping for. Not ready to give up yet, Sophie happens across her aunt being attacked in a San Francisco alleyway and rushes to intervene.

The next second she finds herself in the middle of an ocean surrounded by glowing moths, along with her aunt, who has been stabbed, with only Sophie to save her.

Sophie does save her aunt, but unknowingly sets off a chain of events that disrupt the
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

2.5 stars. This book gave me trouble, although I should've liked its setting and themes. When I had to put it down, and then wanted to pick it up again, geting back into the story was a little hard.

I quite liked the world of Stormwrack, which seems fairly rich and complex, full of political intricacies, bureaucracy antics, and red tape tactics. There's a lot of potential in there, a potential that doubles up with the Fleet—a lite
I wanted to like this book, as it is right up my alley reading-wise, but it was just ok for me. (Spoiler alert-spoilers follow). It hit all the basic plot points: plucky girl finds herself in strange new world (apparently based on the Renaissance), has a series of misunderstandings and adventures, has a brother kidnapped (bro-jep), and finally reaches a conclusion. In addition, the main character, Sophie Hansa, is adopted and this story is based on what happens when she tries to find her mother, ...more
There was so much buzz about this book when it came out, but it took ages for me to actually find a copy. I had heard nothing but good things about this book, so I was really excited to start.

I really enjoyed reading about Sophie's adventures in Stormwrack. Portal fantasies are fun because you get a glimpse of our familiar world and a new fantasy world, and the main character is just as clueless about the new world as you are! Sophie discovers that she has more ties to this magical world than sh
All Things Urban Fantasy
As thrilling as stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, Dellamonica’s CHILD OF A HIDDEN SEA marries our modern world to to it’s exotic, magical alter-ego. Dropped into the warm oceans of a fantasy world, Stormwrack, Sophie Hansa needs every drop of the curiosity, intelligence, and adrenaline seeking skills she learned at home to adapt to the challenges ahead.

And it was just this mix of personal ability and magic that made this book irresistible. While exploring a new world is nothing new for
Sophie rescues her estranged aunt from being attacked only to find herself swept away to a strange yet familiar world. Stormwrack appeals to her inquisitive and adventurous nature but the more questions she asks about her family ties the more she is met with opposition and threatened with exile. A political conspiracy gives her the opportunity to further explore the world she's become fascinated with and forge her own place within it.

Child Of A Hidden Sea is a combination of familiar fantasy tro
3 stars

Child of a Hidden Sea is my first try of Ms Dellamonica's books. I request this title on NetGalley because I love the cover (it scream "adventure!!) and the premise about a woman who transferred into another world is one of my favorite theme. The story of Child of a Hidden Sea is about Sophie Hansa, 24 year old chick that swept away from her home in San Fransisco into another realm called Stormwrack. In Stormwrack she discover a realm that so much resembled Earth (called Erstwhile) but co
So what starts out as a simple (all right slightly stalkery) mission to track down her birth mother turns out to be a huge political fiasco that almost lands her birth family's world into total chaos. Honestly from what I read in the book about Sophie, it makes complete sense that she would nearly cause that.

To lay it out, as a child I absorbed and loved "portal" fantasies (or portal science fiction books, cause hey they exist). Blame Pamela Dean and Joyce Ballou Gregorian (not oddly CS Lewis, I
(Full review here:

I could go on at length about the myriad reasons why I enjoyed Child of a Hidden Sea, or why A M Dellamonica is an author that you should be keeping your eye on, but really, I think it all speaks well for itself. The story is tight, the mystery well-done, the characters realistic and the relationships believable, the dialogue perfect, and the world is so wide and vast that I could probably read a 10-book series set within it and never o
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but really had to force myself to finish it. It's hard to say exactly why--the main character didn't resonate with me and tended to get distracted by the scenery to the detriment of the plot. The plot itself seemed very contrived, as if the author was working very hard to keep readers interested during what was basically a travelogue through another world. The other world was interesting, the plot, not so much.
Hannah Cobb
Sophie Hansa sets out to find her birth mother and discovers an entire birth world--the magical, hidden world of Stormwrack. Sophie's unexpected arrival in Stormwrack throws her birth family into turmoil. What could have been an interesting-if-stressful vacation turns scary when Sophie's adopted brother is kidnapped, and Sophie must involve herself inte h politics fo the fantasy world in roder to save him.
I'm a sucker for a good "Narnia" book, where the protagonist is magically transplanted from
As posted on The Bibliophile's Diary

This book sits between a 2.5 and 3.

I was very excited about Child of a Hidden Sea. It’s what I call a portal book. Someone from our world ends up in a fantastical realm and is stranded. My first portal book was Donaldson, and I’ve been fond of these since I was a child. I was also extremely excited to get back to some adult fantasy. I’ve been reading and reviewing a lot of YA lately and I’m definitely feeling a burnt out on it. I will go ahead and say my hi
I got a copy of this book through Prior to this I read Dellamonica’s Indigo Springs series and really enjoyed how creative that story was. I struggled to read this book for quite a while, I was determined to finish it over this last weekend...and after struggling some more, I finally gave up.

Twenty four year old Sophie has finally tracked down her birth mother...okay she’s been maybe stalking her mother a bit. When Sophie’s aunt is attacked Sophie saves her, but finds herself in t
One moment Sophie Hansa, is breaking up the violent mugging of her recently found Aunt Gale in San Francisco, and the next she finds herself magically catapulted into an ocean battling to keep her aunt alive in rough seas. Sophie is an orphan, who wanted to find her birth mother, but ended up finding an entire new world - Stormwrack - where her family just wants her to go home and forget about them and their world.

But it seems circumstances are against the family. While Sophie does go home again
Maurynne  Maxwell
"One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles." Publisher blurb.

I will read further in the series. Every so often, it's nice to have a story where the woman is the muscle. Even though she is smart, Darcy doesn
Child of a Hidden Sea really hit the sweet spot with me. I devoured the book, finishing it in less than a day.

In the novel, 24-year-old Sophie Hansa goes in search of her birth parents and discovers more than she could have ever dreamed. When her newly found aunt is attacked outside her birth mother’s home, Sophie is literally drawn into a strange new world. Her family turns out to be from some alternate version of Earth (never fully explained, but there are hints that it is a future Earth.) The
Henry Lazarus
Sophie Hansa’s hunt for her birth parents leads her to a different world where magic works. For this Child of a Hidden Sea (hard from Tor) who had been working as a deep sea videoopgrapher, it starts when the woman who might be her aunt is attacked and when she helps, she finds herself suddenly in the ocean towing her injured aunt. When things sort themselves out she is sent home, only to be brought back to settle legal matters. Of course she brings diving and video gear and her adopted tech-ner ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Child of a Hidden Sea is what a book should aspire to be.

Sophie Hansa, our protagonist, is interesting. She has her own passions, which colours the narrative and makes it unique. She has a brain. She is not perfect. She doubts herself. She has confidence in herself. She is capable of complex and multi-layered thought.

None of these seem like they should be particularly unusual in a character, and yet they are, particularly in female characters. I am so, so delighted that Sophie bucks the trend. I
Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
At first, I thought this was a middle grade read because of the literal title, but someone saved me from further embarrassment by letting me know that the main protagonist is 24 years old. The synopsis told me of politics and intrigue and scandals, but other than the occasional romp into the sea to find lost treasure, it felt wholly flat for me. I wanted to like it so much, but sadly other than the wonderfully creative world building, the plot and characters weren't my cup of tea (so to speak).

Initial Thoughts: A trip into the fantasy world of Stormwrack where things run on magic and inscriptions. The world is rich and well developed, the characters are colorful, and the magic is intriguing. Suitable for high school and up.

The Review:

Sometimes searching for your biological family is not the best idea after all. Take Sophie Hansa, for example. Upon finding her biological family nearby in San Francisco, Sophie gets caught up in their world which is literally an alternate universe. Soph
Dellamonica's newest book is a portal fantasy. I've described her previous books as magical, bewitching, and wonderful. I wasn't quite as bewitched as when I read her Astrid Lethwood duology, but I did find this one magical and wonderful.

Dellamonica is great at bringing a unique, diverse cast of characters with strong female leads. In this book she has Sophie. I liked her very much. She's inquisitive and smart. I liked the world Dellamonica sends Sophie to - a world of assorted nations with a d
Check out the review on my blog, too!
This book was an insane amount of fun to read! It's light-hearted in a way that is sadly missing from much of adult fantasy. The story is the perfect beach read for a girl (me) who typically despises beach reads-- I hate them with a passion. It's fun, without being dumb, and the protagonist is spunky and brave, without being annoying beyond belief.

Our lead, Sophie, is a twenty-four year old who is seriously avoiding defending her master's thesis. Inste
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I live in Toronto, Ontario and make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian and in my spare time I take pictures with Toronto Photo. My wife's name is Kelly and we have two cats, Lorenzo and Chinchilla, born in spring of 2014.
More about A.M. Dellamonica...

Other Books in the Series

Hidden Sea Tales (3 books)
  • Daughter of No Nation (Hidden Sea Tales, #2)
  • Nature of a Pirate (Hidden Sea Tales, #3)
Indigo Springs (Astrid Lethewood, #1) Blue Magic (Astrid Lethewood, #2) The Cage The Color of Paradox Among the Silvering Herd

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