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Child of a Hidden Sea

(Hidden Sea Tales #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,361 ratings  ·  293 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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Kelly Robson The magic system is quite complex. It is based around two factors: Law (the written word) and Biodiversity (biologically unique spell ingredients). Th…moreThe magic system is quite complex. It is based around two factors: Law (the written word) and Biodiversity (biologically unique spell ingredients). The MC doesn't have magic -- she has something better.(less)

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 ·  1,361 ratings  ·  293 reviews

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Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: female-lead, fantasy
Sophie Hansa regains consciousness in a body of water, disoriented, thinking only of keeping herself afloat. She quickly realizes her new-found aunt is with her as well. The situation makes no sense to her–one minute fighting off attackers in a San Francisco alley, next minute treading water to survive. Child of a Hidden Sea comes out of the ‘parallel world’ school of fantasy, where the main characters discover there’s a fantasy world loosely connected to ours (think The Lion, the Witch, and the ...more
Althea Ann
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
Even thou I rated this two stars I read the sequel and am about to buy the third book. I would still recommend it to certain readers.

Reason for two stars-

-the MC is meant to be 24 years old but the narrative voice was closer to that of a 16-17 year old protagonist.

- the mc lacked emotional depth, the way some of the characters acted was terrible and the mc seemed to take it laying down. An example; right at the beginning the mc is violently rejected by her birth mother and the rest of her birth
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Child of a Hidden Sea is like Pirates of the Caribbean if PoC was centered on Elizabeth Swann, and she was a college grad from UCLA who liked biology and scuba diving.

I’m really conflicted on this one. I liked the main character, and the book’s focus on familial relationships and not romantic ones. The world building was thorough, but I felt like we saw the ~boring~ parts of the world. When you transport the reader into a world of pirates and swashbuckling don’t take them to a courtroom (unless
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Olga Godim
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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
Dec 12, 2014 marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me
Read in February 7 till February 26, 2016. DNF: 16% ... I tried.

Child of Hidden Sea is one of those books that grabs you from the start with its fast pacing and original premises! Oh yes, there are plenty of books about young women being transported to another world and so on, but I rather enjoyed being in Sophie's head. Overall, the world is intriguing and colorful, my mind was having a feast imagining the white beaches, vast sea and the underwater scenery! The heroine was intelligent,
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
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked 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
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I picked this one up because for some reason I expected pirates and adventures at sea, but instead I got a story about... lawyers? I ended up enjoying the story and worldbuilding, but it took me 40% of the book to finally decide not to abandon it.
Anyway, Sophie grew on me and I liked her never ending curiosity, I'll probably read the next book just to know what happens with her and Parrish xD
Overall an entertaining story and quite original fantasy world, just don't expect what the cover promise
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those fantasy books where someone from our world ends up in another world. Not a new concept, but I was delighted by the originality of this new world, its societies, and its magic system.

The thing I liked most, besides the originality, was that among all the political machinations and people trying to kill them, the biggest enemy that Sophie needs to defeat is her own fear of public speaking (to testify at a trial - because her testimony could tip the scales). Just a personal pr
Ren Puspita
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
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library
I was expecting more of a swashbuckler type of story, and this was not that.

While I liked the setting and the premise, I couldn't warm up to the heroine, Sophie. At the age of 24 she's an experienced diver, rock climber and field biologist with a thorough knowledge of every type of marine life you can imagine. She had the skillset of a more mature character but she often behaved like a much younger one, indulging her curiosity at inappropriate times and treating the struggles of Stormwrack like
Dr susan
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again
I am getting lazy about writing my reviews! I read Child last weekend. Bad Dr Susan!

I liked Child of a Hidden Sea. The world was unique enough to be intriguing, and the magic system was fun. The animals, natural and made, were very interesting. I did find myself thinking several times that Sophie was too stupid to live, but the book, as a whole, held my interest to the point that I was irritated with interruptions. I look forward to reading more of Sophie's adventures.
Josephine (biblioseph)
Unsure about reading this because of:

Also unsure if I should read Darkfever...
Ultimately, I guess I had fun with this book, so I'm grudgingly giving it three stars. But man, it baaaaarely scraped by. This book managed to be both too simple and too complicated at the same time, which is kind of impressive. The cover is pretty misleading - you think you're in for a swashbuckling pirate tale, and I guess that's what's happening? But it's kind of lost behind a story devoid of actual emotion, a supposedly adult MC who talks like a 13 year old, and a conflict that's based on bo ...more
This is just not interesting me. I put it down for a few weeks and had pretty much zero desire to pick it up again even though I'm like 100 pages in. Plus, I still have no idea who the guy on the cover is; he's either white-washed, has the wrong hair colour, and/or too old to be any of the main male characters in the book. How annoying.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle
In one sense, you could see this as a somewhat typical visitation fantasy. Person gets transported from our world to fantasy land, gets in trouble, has adventures, comes back home.

As ever, the secret is in the details. Stormwrack has some apparent relationship with Earth, as both the stars and the moon are the same. But, it is a water world, with little land, that doesn't seem to bear any relation to our landmasses. What exactly is going on is discussed early, but never resolved, as the main plo
I tried really hard to like this book. Child of a Hidden Sea has a lovely cover and the blurb caught my attention. It begins with a young woman named Sophie who's inexplicably fallen into an ocean with the unconscious body of her aunt. She was raised as an adopted child and had recently found her birth mother. However Sophie's birth mother turns her away. Upon finding her mother's sister attacked in an alley, Sophie intervenes and then suddenly both her and her aunt are in this mysterious ocean. ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This book is about a woman that get accidentally transported to another "world" (Im a bit confused over where exactly its located) after being rejected by her mother. And everyone basically tells her to "LEAVE NOW YOU DONT BELONG HERE" (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, ya
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
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sobas-comps
Really interesting world, a smart (like, sciencey smart) protagonist, political intrigue, and a good story. I'm excited to read the next in the series.

Portal stories can be hard when the MC spends too much time *not* believing that they're in a totally different, magical world. This was the case here. She was trying to rationalize where she was a bit too much. When it turned into a legitimate curiosity about when and where they were, it was fine, but until then, meh.

Not a romance, but an attract
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Beyond Reality: Child of a Hidden Sea: Finished Reading **SPOILERS!** 3 12 Apr 18, 2017 08:11PM  

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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.

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Hidden Sea Tales (3 books)
  • A Daughter of No Nation (Hidden Sea Tales, #2)
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“That’s—” Sophie said. “That’s a skull.” “It’s my father,” Dracy said. “He had his teeth scripped to shine as the sun. The intention survived his death.” “Was it literally sunshine?” Sophie’s mind spun through implications. A constant flood of solar radiation in the mouth—hadn’t it burned? Could he give others sunburn, then? Did he die of cancer? Couldn’t they have just made a magic lantern? Had Dracy kept it for sentimental reasons? Dracy replied with a gesture that was less than a shrug, more than a twitch. Sophie was coming to realize it came standard issue among these people: It meant “Don’t know, don’t care.” She added magical solar radiation and Can a whole people be fundamentally incurious? to the continually growing list of things she had to find out,” 0 likes
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