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Beneath the Haunting Sea

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Can't you hear it, Talia?
Can't you hear the waves singing?

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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Page Street
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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
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.

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!

Riddhi (desiderium.)
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.
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.
I love this book and I hope you will, too!
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, young-adult
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
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
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
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.
Sierra Abrams
Jan 07, 2017 marked it as desperately-need-to-read
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.
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
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
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't think I've ever read a book like this, about an extension of mythology. I thought it was really well done, how seemingly normal people fit into mythological stories and how those myths get formed in the first place. I'm not sure if the myths about the sea were real or if the author made them up, but that's what I really loved about the book. The reader gets to discover them with Talia, and you're never really sure what is true or what is just "myth."

Talia is a likeable character, but I
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
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!
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it!

Things this story reminded me of in one way or another, sometimes in large theme or tone, sometimes in smaller details:

--The classic quest fairy tale of the heroine who must perform an impossible task. Various specific tales come to mind.

--The inexorableness of Ragnarok in the Norse myths. (And Padraic Colum's retelling of the myths, The Children of Odin: The Book of Northern Myths, in particular.)

--Aragorn in the Paths of the Dead.

--Hel, Loki's daughter.

--The Little Mermaid (the real o
Bookish Delights
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the publisher Page Street for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Joanna Ruth Meyer is a 2018 YA debut author who has blown me away by her book, Beneath The Haunting Sea, which may very well be the fantasy debut book of the year, it was that PHENOMENAL!! Beneath The Haunting Sea was superb, exquisite, and complete perfection! This novel marks the launch of the YA division at Page Street Publishing and it was exemplary! If this is any indication of the level of
Fangirlinfinity21 (Sarah)
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story so much! Huge thanks to Page Street Publishing for sending me a ARC of this book.

If you like Lord of The Rings or the Hobbit you will love this book. I like the main character Talia so much. She goes through a lot in this story but comes out brighter and stronger than ever. I loved the myths and tales that were weaved into the story. It was action-packed, had romance, likable characters, and heartbreak. I felt like it was a whirlwind of a ride. At first, I admit I was a bit s
Morgyn Star
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Closer to 3.5.

Here's why. Erratic pacing. The story opens like a jet plane, shifting the MC's life without establishing what that life was before the rug gets yanked out from beneath her.

It's followed by an interlude of journey which looks as if the book may turn into a chick makes good in adversity story. (I'm not being specific in order to avoid spoilers.) Except something murky and tragic occurs which tosses our heroine in to passive hand-wringing oh poor me mode. Followed by an indefensibl
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Beneath the Haunting Sea, Joanna Ruth Meyer's young adult fantasy debut novel, is a lovely story about fate, love, courage, selflessness, and determination built upon forgotten history, family secrets, and myths. Though I found the second half difficult to put down, it took awhile to hit its stride mainly due to the pacing and the introduction of the world mythology.

Full Review on My Website
Brendan Hodge
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big YA reader, but this came strongly recommended and I enjoyed it a lot. The mythic backstory of the world is fascinating and evokes without imitating the Silmarillion. The story, on the other hand, is very much a YA kind of story, complete with love triangle, but it's quite enjoyable.
Amie McCracken
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
The depth of this story is incredible. I was prepared for a YA romance after the first few chapters but it turned into so much more. There are incredible myths that I could read as a book of their own. There is writing to drool over. And the main character is strong and multi-faceted.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely enchanting. From the gorgeous way Joanna Ruth Meyer paints the settings to the memorable characters - I loved every minute of it! Talia is a really great protagonist, you really root for her but she's not without her flaws, like any good character. Also I got way too invested in the romance in this one haha. No spoilers, but I was very satisfied with how it ended. Thank you for the beautiful tale, Joanna!
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.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
What is up with that weird thing on the cover?! It looks like she's perched in a billowing bed-sheet under the sea. Why not have a whale or a sea bird or an underwater palace/hall? I'll give some credit for the uniqueness of having a person of color on the cover though.

I enjoyed reading this as part of my high school's March Madness reading challenge. It pitted against The Hazel Wood. For those choosing books for others, you may wish to know that all swearing is done by the names of gods in the
Erin Cashman
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adored this lush, epic YA fantasy so much I hated to see this beautifully written story come to an end. With an intriguing world, strong and complex characters, and a haunting mystery, Beneath the Haunting Sea is a fantasy not to be missed!
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Joanna Ruth Meyer hails from Mesa, Arizona, where she lives with her dear family, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to convince her students that Bach is actually awesome, or plotting her escape from the desert. She loves good music, thick books, looseleaf tea, rainstorms, and staring out of windows. One day, she aspires to own an old Victorian ho ...more
“The sea listens. The sea knows. - Talia's mother” 0 likes
“We snuck off into the hills without telling anyone and camped out for three days in the desert, waiting for Ayah's dratted constellation to line up with the moon. She swore up and down that it had been prophesized in one of her ancient books, but I didn't believe her. It did, of course, that third night. - Talia” 0 likes
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