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Beneath the Haunting Sea

(Beneath the Haunting Sea #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Talia was born to a life of certainty and luxury, destined to become Empress of half the world. But when an ambitious rival seizes power, she and her mother are banished to a nowhere province on the far edge of the Northern Sea.

It is here, in the drafty halls of the Ruen-Dahr, that Talia discovers family secrets, a melancholy boy with a troubling vision o
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Page Street
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  455 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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One of my blogger friends dumped an ARC of this on me a while ago and I never read it because I am a bad person. Recently, I was offered a review copy of BEYOND THE SHADOWED EARTH, only I didn't realize it was the sequel to this because the covers didn't match. Because I am an honest person, I figured I should probably read the prequel before diving into the sequel, so I (belatedly) read this "ARC" of BtHS at last.

I hated this book.
Joanna Meyer
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Please do visit my website or follow me on Twitter for all the latest news and updates! 🐋🌳💫

This book is for you if you like:
Betrayal, true love, heartbreak, adventure, a boy who plays piano, a mysterious library, an immortal tree, and an intensely malicious evil sea goddess. I like to pitch it as Jane Eyre meets The Silmarillion, with kissing.
Rosamund Hodge
I picked this up because the author described it as "Silmarillion meets Jane Austen." I'd quibble with that—I think it's really more of a Gothic novel: the heroine, Talia, is a disgraced Imperial princess, sent into exile (and an arranged marriage) at an ominous old house by the sea, haunted by the madness and deaths of its past mistresses. But the mythology of the world is deeply, beautifully inspired by the Silmarillion without falling into any of the tired tropes that are so sloppily called " ...more
Helena V. Paris
This is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a while. It actually reminded me of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader meets Pride and Prejudice.

-Soft boys.
-Adventurous girls.
-Seafaring voyages.
-Mysterious libraries.
-Fascinating gods.
-Underwater battles.

What else do you need?! An excellent début.

ehhh. i won't lie, part of me strongly despises the romance in this novel. it's a complicated, messy thing, and i wish it didn't exist, because i'm honestly failing to see how it was even important. other than to cause unecessary drama.

in any case! the first part of the book was really slow. it was only after the long voyage that things got interesting, but even somewhere in the middle, some parts lagged. my favourite parts were the scenes with Wen, the sweet, quiet little angel. i adored hi
Alexis Johnson
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
My first book of 2018, and what a book it is!
****some spoilers ahead****

Beneath the Haunting Sea is a gorgeously bittersweet and completely immersive Gothic Fantasy. Though it is a very singular story, it also gives allusions to some of my favorite literary works: The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien's Silmarillion, Jane Eyre... sigh... ♥ ♥ ♥

This book stands out from so many others in the YA genre. Firstly, because it's a standalone (PTL!) and secondly, because the writing is ma
Sylvia Mercedes
Yeah, this one was amazing!

Maybe I’ll write a review if I can be bothered. Probably not though. This was just very two-dimensional with a Mary Sue-ish main character and a love triangle J U C K.
Oct 21, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy, rating-pg
This is not an easy book to rate, and so I am not going to rate it. While I had some nitpicks, my overall impression is as follows: I inhaled this book in two sittings, particularly enjoying the homage to gothic romances a la Jane Eyre, the Austenesque moral sensibilities and the trippy final act. If an unconventional Austen by way of Bronte mashed into a Silmarillion pastiche sounds like your cup of tea, then you'll have fun reading this book. ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
hm. not quite sure what to think of this.

there were moments where i really enjoyed the story (anything with wen) and then there were moments of complete boredom (the myths/history).

there were times where i skim-read (the legend retellings) and times where i was completely engaged (again, anytime wen showed up).

so i think you know where my priorities were. lol.

overall, not a bad story. i enjoyed some parts of it, just not all of it.

3 stars
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, let's take a moment and appreciate the cover.It is stunning AF!
"The Silmarillion meets Jane Eyre, with kissing."

THAT line is all I needed to see.It got my attention.
Delicious eerie dark plots in the same vein as Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo.
Mythical goddess?Secrets lying deep in the sea?

Oh!Have I mentioned?
I have a serious weakness for drowning or diving girls on covers.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2017, fantasy
Given that the ocean is my natural habitat, it's basically a forgone conclusion that I'll read anything that centers around the sea. Joanna Meyer's debut is no different! From the moment I saw her deal go live, I've been curious about BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA. I finally got my hands on an ARC this month, and enjoyed the reading experience immensely.

SEA was initially not a page-turner for me, though that's quite likely due in part to the fact that I was reading it at a chaotic and overwhelming mo
I love this book and I hope you will, too!
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Can't you hear it? The Waves are singing."

I loved Echo North last year, so I wanted to read the author's previous book. And wow, Beneath the Haunting Sea is a title that definitely fits this beautiful book. The prose I loved in Echo North was already in this debut novel, but this is a very different story. If you didn't like Echo North, you might still enjoy this one, and if you loved Echo North, you might not love this one as much. I read comparisons with The Silmarillion, which is a masterpie
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-debuts

Beneath the Haunting Sea first landed on my TBR due to its stunning cover, and the more I heard about it, the more excited I became. I love books involving forgotten tales laced in magic and mystery, and I couldn't wait to see what Joanna had in store for us here.

The Result? Combining an unforgettable world, fearless characters, and an age old mystery, Beneath the Haunting Sea is a fantastic read from start to finish.

Beneath the Haunting Sea is told through Talia's perspective. When she
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I would like to say that it is better written than some of the other books I've read and given 5 stars to, so the writing itself is gorgeous. There were just a few details that bothers me enough to give it 4 instead of 5, but I still really liked it.

The issues I had were the relationships and characterization. Tahlia we know is very independent, stubborn, and adventurous. She also, throughout most of the book, is not superstitious and does not believe in the
Julia O'Connell
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse-books
Sixteen-year-old Talia has been raised in the luxury of the Emperor's court in the kingdom of Eddenar. But when her rival seizes power, Talia and her mother are exiled to the distant sea-side estate of Ruen-Dahr. On the voyage across the Northern Sea, Talia can hear something calling to her from beneath the waves. When she arrives at Ruen-Dahr, the baron's son Wendarion claims to hear the music of the ocean, as well. Together, Talia and Wen scour the old myths for clues as to their parts in an e ...more
Veronica ( moon & coffee. )
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2019-reads

A-/B+ | If there’s one book I can hold up as the PERFECT example of how to do mythology, this is that book. The mythology within this gothic book is stunning. And the worldbuilding? chef kiss. You guys know how much I adore excellent worldbuilding. This rich mythology and worldbuilding are wrapped up nicely with a super exciting (but not so well-paced) plot and characters you want to strangle and hug. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get a perfect grade because of it’s pacing and unnatural, forced ro

Joanna Bennett
Edit: Read it again and still loved it! Wen is just the sweetest soul and I love him.

The only reason I knew this book existed was because of NetGalley and seeing the sequel on there. The sequel sounded interesting and so I decided to request it knowing that I would need to read the first. Usually, this could be a very bad thing. I am glad that it worked out and that I enjoyed this book! It was different than what I thought it would be and I only had a couple minor issues with the book overall.

Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review originally published on Spinatale Reviews.

When I first heard of Beneath the Haunting Sea, I was intrigued by the premise and in love with the cover (seriously, how gorgeous is it?). Once I started reading, I was utterly enchanted. This atmospheric story slowly draws you in and, before you know it, you're turning the last page. This is one of the few books where, after I picked it up, I couldn't put it down until I was done.

The mythology is blended absolutely perfectly with the story. It
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Page Street Kids for a copy of this Arc in exchange for a fair review.

Talia is going to be having a her coming of age party in a few days, but she has been summoned to see the ailing Emperor. Talia has been shocked to find out that she is really the daughter of the Emperor and he has made her his heir. But the day of the party comes and the Emperor does not show and Talia has to make her own announcement when Eda walks into the party and tells everyone the Emperor is dead and she is th
Jen Fulmer
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beneath The Haunting Sea is a gorgeous story with an evocative, atmospheric setting. Written in stunning, lyrical prose, Joanna Meyer weaves a tale about fate and the choice to embrace it, or fight for control. Romantic and sweeping and epic, Beneath The Haunting Sea will be a must-read for fantasy lovers everywhere.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and haunting fantasy. This book was an adventure. I loved Talia's fierce devotion to her mother and the way the myths blended seamlessly with the story. Highly recommend for its intriguing world building and exquisite writing! ...more
Sierra Abrams
Jan 07, 2017 marked it as desperately-need-to-read
Deborah O'Carroll
I so enjoyed reading this! Didn't think I could write a review for this but then typed this up for my Instagram so... I guess I will share it here. Even if it's not extensive/everything I wanted to say/doesn't do it justice, at least it's something?


I just finished reading Beneath the Haunting Sea and I LOVED IIIIT!

It took me a little while to get into it because the opening was so different from the rest (you have to make it past the desert palace and the voyage) but the second Talia s
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to win an ARC of this book in a giveaway. This story immediately hooked me. Joanna just created such an amazing world and cast of characters. There was action, adventure, mythology, an eerie house by the sea, romance and more. Trust me you need to add this one to your TBR! It's coming out in January 2018, so not long now. ...more
Nicole (FearYourEx)
Highly highly recommend!
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya

A beautiful, resonant story that aches, inspires, and enthralls. Joanna Meyer's prose flows and sings like music, as music itself becomes one of its most prominent themes - coming alive from the very pages, making its images dance before our eyes. I don't think you'll find a more exquisitely written book, as you can hear the haunting call of the waves, feel the textures of salt, earth, and sea, and sense every inch the power of myth vibrating through each paragraph and sentence.
Zunaira Ghazal
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I will warn you now, my friends; this book is 90% cliched bullshit and the remaining 10% of originality do NOT make up for all the intense dislike I have for most of this story and its protagonist. Here's a list of all the things that set my last nerve on edge:

- First off, there was a lot of girl-on-girl hate for no other reason than to make Talia an epic martyr - which she only came off as a Mary Sue. Eda hated her for no reason at all since they were kids and then poor Blaive was repeatedly ma
Maria Copeland
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting one. The world did come off as something like the pitch; a meeting of Tolkien's Silmarillion with Jane Eyre. I would say Emily Bronte, not Charlotte (the difference: Wuthering Heights vs. Jane Eyre, literally). At the same time, the feel of the book is not developed with the same maturity as either of the inspiring works, which is not surprising. It thoroughly pulled me into its shadowy uneasy Manderley-junior atmosphere, however, and the creative touches were never ...more
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Joanna Ruth Meyer is the author of the critically-acclaimed Echo North, as well as the companion novel duology Beneath the Haunting Sea and Beyond the Shadowed Earth. She writes stories about fierce teens finding their place in the world, fighting to change their fate, save the ones they love, or carve out a path to redemption.

Joanna lives with her dear husband and son, a rascally feline, and an e

Other books in the series

Beneath the Haunting Sea (2 books)
  • Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Beneath the Haunting Sea, #2)

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