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Arms of the Ocean

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Nineteen-year-old Tristaine lived a life of bitterness. When her mother abandoned her family, and her father began drinking, Tris discovered the only thing that truly brought her happiness: the sea.

It called to her like a lover and flowed through her like a life force. When her only peace is threatened to be taken away, Tris realizes there is nothing she wouldn't do to remain with the ocean.

Even if it means taking her own life to do so.

But the sea isn't done with her -not yet- and Tris soon finds herself submerged in a world where love, betrayal, and honor stand stronger than any other force of nature.

Published July 7, 2020

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Jamie Webster

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie .
980 reviews451 followers
July 17, 2020
*Just a fair warning that there are triggers within the pages of this book. Warnings: Rape, Sexual assault/violence, alcoholism, abuse, suicide, anxiety, PTSD and I may have missed some.*

The authors of this book have done a wonderful job of making you feel as if you there on the cliffs with Tristaine as she over looks the ocean rather then being in town during the Midnight Summers Eve festivities. I could almost hear the crash of the waves and smell the salt in the air, while Tris looks out with longing. Her mother left her and her family when she was little, her father hasn't been the same ever since. Drinking his life away and with Tristaine carrying the burden. Her brother has married and moved, and keeps saying he'll take her away. Her father in is drunkenness is fearful that she will leave him too and when he see's her wadding in the ocean the anger and hate he has for the waters shines through. Threatening that it won't take her too. He is rough and drunk beyond reasoning with so much vitriol that she has never seen before as he drags and halls her from the shore. But Tristaine want's to only be were the air smells of brine and white caps meet the shore. She never wants to leave her home by the ocean, it calls to her.

When the last thing she thinks would ever happen to her does, she makes the decision then to never leave the ocean she loves but to forever join with it. The ocean welcomes her with open arms and Tristaine's world is the never the same again.

Under the sea is the city of Inara a magical place with selkies and other fae. A city that to Tristaine was only bedtime stories and tales the fisherman told. Never did she imagine that this place was real and that she had a special and tragic connection to it.

Jamie Webster and M. Dalto have did a magical job in bring this tale to life. The would building and descriptions put you in the setting even while reading from your chair. The characters like many characters have their flaws, but so do us humans and some are down right evil and you hope they get what is coming to them. Then you have special ones, like Nyx who I hope will make an appearance in another book because you can not keep a girl hanging like that with out knowledge of a book 2. If this is a standalone I will be so very saddened.

Secrets and lies, a prince, bondmates, evil lords, betrayal, twists and turns, and a lovely black cat. You'll find so much and more in the Arms of the Ocean.

Fans of SJM's A Court of Thorn and Roses will enjoy this

Thanks to Xpresso Tours for my copy for review.
Blog: https://icanhasbooks.blogspot.com/202...
Profile Image for Inkslinger.
232 reviews38 followers
June 20, 2020
Arms of the Ocean by Jamie Webster and M. Dalto

ARC provided by Parliament House Press, Jamie Webster, and M. Dalto via Xpresso Book Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given.

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""I tasted the sea.
I tasted salt, and brine, and the ocean breeze.
I tasted the sunlight on the waves, and the shadows of the undertow.
And beneath it all, I tasted magic.
I tasted power.""

06-20: I'm always drawn to stories that are linked to the sea in some way. So, it was only natural that when I spotted 'Arms of the Ocean' by Jamie Webster and M. Dalto, that I'd be curious about it.

Centering around Tristaine, a young woman left as the only caretaker for a drunken father, the story is a bitter one.

Sloane, her brother, is married and long gone from their childhood home, visiting briefly and infrequently. Their family abandoned by her mother when she was only five years old, Tris barely has memory of her and her days are filled with her father's needs. Her only peace, her only true happiness.. comes from the moments she spends at the edges of the sea.

When something unthinkable happens, she makes an irrevocable decision.. but the sea has other plans for her. Soon, she's drawn into a world she never could have imagined. A world filled with love and loss, honor and betrayal, and secrets she never saw coming.

I feel like this is a good book that had the potential for greatness. I don't know if what held it back was the result of the authors working together, or if that was actually a strength. But someone has a lot of potential.

From a creative standpoint, the concepts are interesting. They play both with established themes known in the fantasy genre and utilize some of their own, more unique elements.

The world-building, while not expansive, is definitely intriguing and they definitely left themselves the possibility to continue telling this story in the future. While I didn't love it, I did enjoy it and I'd absolutely pick up a sequel if they were to release one.

Imriel however.. I did love. Read the book, you'll see why. Nyx and Loch also deserve special mention. Loch is certainly the book's main source of humor, but he's not one-dimensional at all.

There are things I think could have been done better. Could be in the future, if the authors do another book.

Throughout the story, there are numerous dramatic moments. Some more emotional, some more physical. Some are beautiful and some are brutal. But I didn't really feel any of them. I felt as if someone was telling me a story with hazy recollection.. through a soft lens.

What I mean by that is.. the approach to these moments is almost romanticized. Even the violence comes across as sort of dreamy instead of vivid. It lacks immersion for me.. and therefore any real sense of what the characters are feeling. Yes, we're told how they're feeling. Shown, sort of.. but like on an old tv with a breakdown of realism between us and the characters.

Anyway, that's a matter of preference. The book is still well-written, the story unravels slowly and precisely. The authors telegraph some things a little too clearly and very early on by over-emphasizing the foreshadowing, but it's still worth the read.



06-19: Finished! Review to come.. :)

06-18: Starting this one today. Seems to be an ocean themed week.. and I can't be unhappy about that..
Profile Image for Carly Wilson.
581 reviews40 followers
July 7, 2020
‘Arms of the Ocean’ is a beautifully written paranormal fantasy set in the depths of the Ocean in a city call Inara. A city which is beautiful and safe from those who have bad intentions. But if only that could extend beyond the depths of the water, to a small wooden hut where a young woman Tristaine lives desperately trying to help her alcoholic father.

Left alone after her brother sought his freedom and married, Tristaine is the only one left, refusing to leave the place she calls home due to the calls and beauty of the ocean nearby. There is something that ties her to the water, something that sings to her soul.

When everything she has known becomes threatened, Tristaine goes to the waters edge, desperate to find solace and to end the pain inflicted upon her heart. But she never expected the ocean to hear her call, to provide comfort in the form of Imriel, a mystical man who takes her into his arms and enables her to travel to Inara.

I do not want to spoil this story for anyone, but all I can say it was an incredibly imaginative plot, a one that vividly was clear in my mind, and made me unable to put the book down. I loved this magical world and all of its paranormal characters.

I think I will always have a soft spot for Loch!

If you are looking for an originally unique fantasy book to get your teeth stuck into, I’d recommend this book! It has everything, perfect sweet romance, action, a villain that makes you question your morals and want to kill, and it also has so many hidden layers like the ocean itself.

This book due to some violent themes is best suited for adult/mature readers, but is so worth it! Upon finishing this book I can feel myself slipping into that ‘book slump’ as it’s going to be a hard one to top.
Profile Image for Fierymermaidbooks.
251 reviews18 followers
July 7, 2020
This book was really good! I absolutely adored the magic system within it! The characters were well written and each one has unique traits that made them important to the story. I really enjoyed all the plot twists and revealed secrets throughout. I do think there should be a trigger warning since it discusses multiple heavy subjects. I really love how the authors weaved together the fae and the underwater people. I really hope that there is a sequel though because there were a few things that were left unfinished! This book is perfect for people who love sibling stories, friends to lovers, unique magic systems, ocean stories, betrayals, etc.
Profile Image for Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon.
2,089 reviews148 followers
June 28, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read with just enough mystery to keep it interesting. The main characters are a mixture of good and bad. As in all good stories, the misunderstandings rack up and cause havoc.

Tristaine is a young nineteen-year-old girl living with her father on the edge of the ocean overlooking the sea. Her father used to be a fisherman but when her mother disappeared years ago, he turned to drink to bring him solace. He became abusive and hated the sea now, always yelling at it. Her brother, Sloane got married and moved miles away into the city. Tris could not imagine leaving the sea. It called to her and she loved the smells and salty air. Sloane constantly tries to convince her to move to his home, but she cannot imagine ever leaving the coast. When an old classmate turns up on Midsummer’s Eve and ruins her life. This is where the story takes a dramatic turn.

I cannot tell you what happens, you will have to read it for yourself. I, frankly, could not put this book down until I had finished it. Thus, my 5-star rating. Fantasy at it’s best.
Profile Image for Brandy {The Review Booth}.
205 reviews29 followers
July 13, 2020
Arms of the Ocean is a fast-paced and unique take on Scottish/Celtic mythological creatures. It was beautifully written with vivid descriptions of Tristaine's surroundings and as well as her feelings. The city of Inara is a fictional city that I would absolutely love to see in person, it sounds stunning and peaceful. There was quite a lot more of the romance aspect in this book than what I was expecting, pretty steamy. Even the often cringe-worthy "fated mates" makes an appearance as well as "female is in trouble and everyone must save her" even though Tristaine's situation was a little more precarious and unique. That being said - Arms of the Ocean is about not one but two, folklore creatures that rarely see the light of day. Selkies and Cait Sith (or Cait Sidhe).

Tristaine's character is a pretty well-rounded character with complex feelings. Her reactions to the situations that she finds herself in are realistic (for the most part) and I admire her strength to persevere. There were several twists in the story that I didn't see coming but I did see the main one coming down the line but not the exact details. I enjoyed the court dynamics and they helped to round out some of the character interactions and make some of the story a little bit more realistic. Imriel seemed a little underdeveloped but the hope was there that he could be a better-rounded character if there is a second book. The main antagonist in this book definitely gave me a Game of Thrones Ramsay Bolton vibe - horrifically nasty, controlling and possessive. I would also like to point out that some may have issues with the content - mainly suicide, abuse (sexual, physical, substance as well as verbal), and possibly the romantic encounters.

Even though Arms of the Ocean contained quite a few tropes it more than redeemed itself in my eyes for the content and the authors basing the story around folklore that never gets included in books. After reading this book I would consider placing it on the higher end of the Young Adult genre and I would base its appropriateness solely on the maturity of the reader. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy romance, folklore, Fae stories, Scottish and Celtic mythology, fantasy, and magic. Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and Parliament Press for the opportunity to read a digital ARC of this book. I would also like to thank the authors - Jamie Webster and M. Dalto, I thoroughly enjoyed your unique book... please write a sequel! If you crave more selkies I highly recommend watching Song of the Sea, it is a children's animated movie but it is SO BEAUTIFUL (so is Cartoon Saloon's other movie - The Secret of Kells).
Profile Image for Jess Ostrander.
273 reviews31 followers
July 9, 2020
Thank you to The Parliament House Press and the author for the arc to review!
Trigger warnings for this book: depression, suicide, abuse, sexual content, addiction

Arms of the Ocean is the story of 19 year old Tristaine, who's family life is rather bleak. Her mother abandoned the family, leaving Tris to care for her alcoholic father. Her brother Sloane is married and long gone from the family, and barely visits.
Tristaine's only true solace and happiness is the moments she spends near the ocean. The sea calls to her, and is the only thing keeping her tethered to the place she lives. But when her father makes a horrible decision, everything Tris holds dear is threatened. Distraught and desperate to stay with the sea, Tris attempts to take her own life.
But the sea has other plans for Tristaine. Soon she finds herself brought into the underwater world of Inra, a world full of things she could have never imagined.

So that plot summary is a bit vague, because I don't want to spoil anything! This book intrigued me just based on the synopsis. It drew me in quickly, and the intrigue and creativity kept me hooked. It was interesting, especially once we got to Inra. I think the worldbuilding was good, but could have used a bit more detail. Also, I feel like I should mention that this is definitely a more mature book, which I didn't realize going in. That's okay with me, but I know that it's got some subjects that could be triggering for some people. I think there's great potential for more books in this world, and I hope we get a sequel or continuation. I really enjoyed this magical world and all the interesting plot elements! Again, being vague, but I definitely think you need to read it for yourself if you're a fantasy fan, and if you like unique takes on fantasy stories! I enjoyed so many aspects of this book, and while it's not perfect, I think it was a really interesting and compelling read! I liked the romance, the action, and all the twists and turns! I definitely recommend it if you're comfortable with the trigger warnings!
Profile Image for Ashley.
61 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2020
I found Arms of the Ocean to be a really unique read. During this time of the year, I'm usually out on a beach reading and enjoying the sight of the waves. The pandemic has certainly changed things this year for us. I read a majority of this book in my backyard hammock. The imagery of the ocean used throughout this tale was a calming presence that filled me with the tranquility I normally feel while spending my summer days on a beach. I really appreciated the author's worldbuilding and would have actually enjoyed even more.

The story centers on a girl named Tristaine <> who lives in a cottage by the ocean with her drunkard of a father. I'm going to keep this as unspoilery as possible, so I will say when I first received this book, I thought I was headed for the "Tristaine is a mermaid"-type story. Boy was I wrong - and happily so! The story really centers on selkie lore which isn't a theme that is explored in fantasy enough in my opinion.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say if you're a fan of Sarah J. Maas's books, you're going to enjoy this story. There was plenty of love, court intrigue and action. Though if you're a critic of her books, I'd still say give this a try. Arms of the Ocean certainly has darker elements to it and I'd like to point out some themes people might feel triggered by which are suicide and rape. Even though this book had some heavy topics in it, I found it to be a fast-paced enjoyable story. The ending left me wanting more and there are plenty of interesting people and places within the world she's created that would warrant another book from the author. I'm hoping this is just the first book in a series because I would happily spend more time in the ocean with Tristaine.

I received this book from the publisher, Parliament Press to review. I'm super thankful for the chance, but would also like to state that it in no way colored my opinions of the story.
Profile Image for RocketteReads.
17 reviews5 followers
July 6, 2020
Thank you to The Parliament House Press and Jamie Webster & M Dalto for an opportunity to give an honest review for Arm of the Oceans, And all opinions I have written are my own.

Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Parliament House Press

Plot: Nineteen-year-old Tristaine lives with her father by the edge of the sea, which she loves so much. When her mother disappeared years ago, her father starts to drink and hating the sea saying it took his love from him. One day her peace and love of the sea is threatened to be taken away from her and she will do anything to remain with the sea even if it means taking her own life. But the sea has other plans for her.

My Review: This was my first taste into a type of Fae world, I really enjoyed the world-building, the Inara world sounds so beautiful and mythical underwater world which draws you into the story more. The Selkie Fae is such an interesting mythical creature, the way they talk about the lore and how the life forces are tied to there skins which I found so intruding. This book does hit a good bit trigger warning which hit some presser points for me. But I would love to see more of this underwater world. With all this being said I really enjoyed this book and found it very captivating.

For readers that like Fae, Fantasy, ocean world, magic, and romance.
Trigger Warnings: Depression, anxiety, suicide, abuse, sexual content, and mature.

Overall: 4/5 Stars
Characters: 4/5 Stars
Story/Writing: 3.5/5 Stars
World-Building: 5/5 Stars
Book Cover Art: 4.5/5 Stars
Profile Image for Ayushi (Sorcery of Chapters).
187 reviews16 followers
July 10, 2020
‘Arms of the Ocean’ was such a surprisingly amazing read! But before we jump into the review, let’s take a minute to appreciate this absolutely stunning cover! I love it so much! The colors, the graphics and the overall aesthetics is so gorgeous, don’t you think?

The book is written from Tristaine’s point of view, a human transformed into a selkie. Along the journey she learns about her past and the way her story enfolds is quite interesting to read. Each chapter ended on a mysterious note pulling me deeper into the book and making me want to continue reading. The writing is top-notch and grabbed my attention pretty early on.

‘Arms of the Ocean’ boasts a plot that is completely fresh for me as I have not read books about faerie life under water. Glad I read this though because the world building was truly so fascinating. I really liked the concept of selkie skin. It’s so unique and innovative! You’ll know what I mean when you read this book.


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Profile Image for Bella.
251 reviews26 followers
July 8, 2020
TW/CW: Abuse, Rape, Addiction, Suicide

When I saw this beautiful book I knew I had to read it. I love stories that have to do with the ocean and mermaids. Arms of the Ocean takes place in the city of Inara. A beautiful city that's described as a place where no harm can be done. We meet Tristaine who lives with her alcoholic father who she's trying to help. After her mother up's and abandons them, her father turns to liquid poison to deal with her absence, but her brothers as well. He decided to go and make his own life and get married. Who could blame him? No matter how many times he asks his sister to do the same.She simply can't. She loves Inara too much. It needs her.

But after a situation with her father goes horribly wrong, her limits are tested and she starts to wonder if her love for Inara and her life is even worth it anymore. I won't tell you the rest, you're gonna have to find out for yourself. I really enjoyed this book. Webster and Dalto did any amazing job writing it, and it was simply magical like I knew it would be. Thank you to the Parliament House Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Anie.
1,001 reviews44 followers
July 6, 2020
Tristaine is living a hard life. Her brother married and moved away, her mother left and the only person left to take care of her drunken father is her. No matter how many times Sloan, her brother offers, she can't seem to move. It's not just because of her father, it's because she has to be near the sea. It calls to her.
It all comes to head, when her father sells her to the Lord, who she hates, for money. Feeling helpless she turns to sea and jumps off the cliff.
What should have been the end, it's only the start. She is saved and taken to a whole new world, where she discovered her heritage and the meaning of love and trust.
Joining the see is only the start of an incredible adventure, full of new love, friendship, and also betrayal and loss.
I was blown away by the story. In the beginning, I didn't have high hopes for it, but few pages in, it sucked me in and it was very hard to stop reading. :)
I like Tristaine's character, she is full of flaws, but somehow is still very likable. I was rooting for her happy ending. My other favorite is Ember. No spoilers why, though. :)
I love all things paranormal, but fae of any kind, is at the top of a list and I loved the way authors took a unique take on it.

received from Xpresso Book Tours
Profile Image for Laura.
772 reviews53 followers
June 13, 2020
Tristaine "Tris" has lived a hard life care giving for her drunken father. One night he makes a horrible decision and changes her life forever. His actions borne out of selfishness and greed causes Tris to act realizing her whole life was not at all what she thought it was. 
This gave me some vibes of Circe and Aquaman being fully immersed in a mythical underwater world. The characters were unique, strong and vulnerable.  There was earth shattering romance, intrigue, transformation, heartbreak, betrayal, abuse, reformation, and healing. 

I am excited to see more of this Realm and find out how important Tris is to this Realm and Inara! 


" And my release came upon me like the breakers upon the sea wall. He held onto me tight as the pleasure shuddered through my body, and he soon joined me in a burst of pure ecstasy. Once the swells subsided, I looked down upon him, breathless. Those blue eyes with just a tint of green were like waves crashing, watching me skeptically. “Who are you?” he inquired, a sandy hand running down the side of my cheek, tracing the gentle curvature of my face."

Thank you for the ARC copy for an honest review!
Profile Image for Laura E. Clark.
Author 1 book2 followers
June 15, 2020
3.5 stars
The Parliament House provided me with an eARC - thank you!

What I loved: The world building. Inara is a beautiful city, with a diverse culture. The emotions are so raw and beautifully written - I laughed and cried. I love the hope woven into the story. The hope that even when you're broken in what seems beyond repair, healing can happen.

What I did not like: The mature content of sexual nature (although I found it easy to skip over). I also felt there should have been better content warnings for readers. This is definitely a MATURE read for depression, anxiety, suicide (yes, the synopsis hints at this), domestic abuse, occasional language, and sexual content.

Over all the story is a compelling read. I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it. It took me a little while to feel invested in the story and characters, but once I was I found myself cheering for the main characters win. Also the cover is GORGEOUS. This would be a cover purchase for me, and I don't do that.
Profile Image for Emily.
76 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2020
This book sucked me in faster than I could handle. This isn't your normal mermaid book. I've never imagined a selkie book, and I loved every second of it.
Tristaine is a character who thought she knew what she wanted and had a home to losing everything she thought was close to her in life but for the good of her.
A sudden turn of events puts her life upside down and is pushed into the undersea world of Inara.
Her feelings swept up by Imriel, the Prince of Inara.
She is introduced to this new land and made new friends.
The emotions are thrown into this book from the first chapter and it's what made me love this book. I connected with the main characters deeply.
Can't wait to see what other books come from these two amazing authors.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Danny.
467 reviews11 followers
July 5, 2020
3.5 Stars

Trigger warnings for- suicide, abuse, rape, addiction

I always find myself drawn to books that have ocean themes. The cover of this is absolutely stunning and the diversity/culture of the city of Inara is vivid and well written. This book and the concept really had the potential to be amazing. Unfortunately, I did think it lacked some aspects of the world building and felt a little rushed at times. Either way, it was a compelling story with some dark themes so don't pick this up thinking it should be taken lightly.

Arc Provided by Parliment Press for Review
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,324 reviews102 followers
July 18, 2020
Tristaine has been taking care of her father ever since her mother left them. Tristaine’s father started drinking after her mother left them. Tris has a brother who married and moved away. Tris has no idea where her mother is or if she will ever see her again. I think deep down Tris hopes that one day her mother will come back. Tris loves the ocean and never wants to leave it.

Tris’s brother, Sloane comes for a visit and wants Tris to come and live with him and his wife but Tris will not hear of it. Besides someone has to look after their father. Sloane tries to convince Tris that their father is a grown man and can look after himself but without any success.

Tris comes home one day to find that her father has sold her into a marriage contract with Fiero. Tris and Fiero grew up together went to the same school but now travel in different groups. Fiero has always wanted Tris but she always turned him down. Oh Fiero is a very handsome man but not a very nice man besides Fiero could have any girl he wanted why would he want someone of her status?

Tris having no intentions of marry Fiero decides that taking her own life would be better than being married to someone like him jumps off a cliff right into the ocean. Jumping into the ocean seems like the right way to go to Tris as she has always been drawn to the ocean and loves it with all her heart.

Jumping off that cliff and into the ocean changed Tris’s life forever as she enters the most beautiful world ever. After jumping off that cliff secrets, lies and betrayals are revealed to Tris one at a time slowly very slowly.

Arms of the Ocean has some sad twists and some happy twists, twists that I never saw coming. The twists and the secrets revealed in the Arms of the Ocean was a great addition to the story which I loved tremendously. When I read the summary I wasn’t quiet sure what to expect but what I got was just so awesome and then some. I dearly loved the world that was created for Arms of the Ocean and would really like to see more of this beautiful world in future books.

Do I recommend Arms of the Ocean? Oh you bet I do and highly. If you like fairy tales and mythology then you are going to fall in love with Arms of the Ocean just like I did. One click your copy of Arms of the Ocean today to begin this awesome adventure into a beautiful world.
Profile Image for Sari.
196 reviews4 followers
January 17, 2021
Trigger warnings: abuse, rape, addiction, anxiety, depression, suicide, language, sexual content.

The world building and culture behind this fantasy is intriguing but the lack of character or relationship development makes it feel rushed and disorganized. The pacing and events of the book felt too convenient for me. None of the characters got any development apart from things that were shown or said. I need more. I need characters that have conflicts. I need relationships between people that build up through time and don't go from 0 to 100 in the first scene they're together. I need conflicts that aren't solved with a typical saving moment. And I think I stopped caring for the characters 20% in.

Idea is 100%, the culture and world building has some good grounds but the execution wasn't what I expected or hoped it would be.
Profile Image for Rebecca Veight.
618 reviews7 followers
July 19, 2020
With a mother who abandoned them and a father who became a drunk after that, Tristaine’s only solace is the ocean that calls to her. To get out of a sticky situation she decides to take her own life by falling into her beloved ocean. She is saved and discovers a lost legend of a place.

The imagery is breathtaking , the play of words in the narrative creating such beautiful sentences. The world building is complimented with rich detail and the mythology with wondorous imagination.

I have never read a book that was about Selkies before. They are Fae that can change from human form to seals. We are educated about them and Inara, their home, along with the protagonist. The authors have done a wonderful job of ‘teaching’ us through stories, conversations and Tris’s experiences. And as Tris learns of her new home and people, she learns about herself.

The protagonist’s POV is so intense and invitingly personal. I love how Tris is strong and vulnerable at the same time. I really like how her relationship with Imriel started backwards, their funny and awkward encounters, their smile-worthy convos.

What a found problematic was there were parts were it seemed that scenes were missing, things said and then just left unanswered. For example there is a jaw dropping revelation that was then ‘forgotten’ in the next scene. Even Tris doesn’t ‘wonder’ about it which makes no sense. Also some of the protagonist’s insecurities get repetitive and are an obstacle to the story progressing.

I find Tris’s honesty refresing as is the way some of the personal ‘conflicts’ are dealt with, more realistic, no excess drama. The romance is quite enticing. *wink, wink*

The power of love, the quirks of fate, and the bonds of loyalty play key roles in this charming and sometimes heart-wrenching underwater fantasy. We also ‘taste’ disloyalty and the selfishness of doing anything to get what you want. Through many good and bad surprises and unbelievable hurt and cruelty we come to a on the one side happy end but on the other quite abrupt. I really hope this is the beginning of a series cause I became quite enamored with the story and its heroes.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Gray.
89 reviews
July 16, 2020
This is such a good read! I adore fairytale retellings, mostly because you have a pretty good idea of where the story will go, so it’s like seeing an old friend in a new dress. Arms of the Ocean went one better. The authors, Jamie Webster and M. Dalto, undertook to retell and ADD to the selkie mythology. I thought this book was going to be fairytale romance… Instead I got Fairytale/Romance/Politics/Found Family/Happiness!

Mind you, to get to that glimmer of happiness, Tris has to undergo some absolutely horrific things. This book ascribes to the Classic Grimms style of storytelling. Here’s the trigger warning: there is alcohol abuse, physical abuse, rape, betrayal, descriptions of sexual situations and legal execution, as well as realistic portrayals of PTSD and the aftereffects of abuse.

The basic story is that Tris’s father, enraged by Tris’s love of the sea has signed her over in a marriage contract to the local Lord, Fiero. Fiero is controlling and cruel, and plans for Tris to live inland, which she cannot abide. She chooses to kill herself in the ocean, but meets Imri, a selkie prince and is taken to the fabled city of Inara. There Tris is confronted by the truth of her parents’ pasts and her attraction to the prince, who is promised to another. Then they are betrayed; and it will take a hidden friend, teamwork and trust for Tris to find her way home.

Tris is a fantastic character, with a feisty personality and quick-witted tongue that keep her from being a doormat, but just enough flaws to make her likeable. She is given a second chance at life, at happiness, if she chooses to embrace it. Imri is not a perfect prince, but a man who is torn between being promised to his dearest friend and loving a stranger, between risking himself and caring for his entire kingdom. There are other characters, whose stories are tied to Tris and Imri, and who I dearly hope to see in yet more books!
Profile Image for Dilyana.
168 reviews11 followers
July 15, 2020
The book starts on Midsummer Night's Eve - a bit like Christmas in the summer, festive, with people exchanging gifts, eating, drinking and having a jolly good time... Except for Tristaine and her father.

Tris is the female lead and right away we are shown how isolated she is. I said that the book starts on Midsummer Night's Eve, but I think it's more accurate to say that the story actually begins years earlier, when Tris' mother left and her loving father turned into a drunkard. As Sloane - Tris' older brother - had left after getting married, it's up to Tris to take care of the only parent she has left. We're shown that from a young age, she's shouldered big responsibilities, and those hardships give us an idea of why she's turned into the young woman she now is.

Something else we are shown from the start is her connection to the sea, a connection that goes on a deep, spiritual level. I can't really say more about this without spoilers, but even without the title of the book, just from the first chapters, you'd know the sea is going to play a big part in the story.

Since there are two authors, I was afraid the book would be a mishmash of their styles, but my fears were unfounded. It's written so seamlessly that if I didn't know it was a joint effort, I wouldn't have been able to guess that. The plot progresses at a pretty steady pace, gradually introducing us to more and more characters, and leaving the option for a sequel.

I'd recommend The Arms of the Ocean to fantasy lovers, who enjoy following the adventures of a female lead and want or at least wouldn't mind romance.
Profile Image for Gina.
101 reviews12 followers
July 10, 2020
**TRIGGER WARNING: This book includes sexual assault, rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, alcohol abuse , and probably some that I am forgetting. Just be warned if you are sensitive to any of these things, please take them into consideration between reading this book.**

Selkie and mermaid legends have always been my favorite things to read. I love a good story about being under the sea and if it’s a romance even better. I will say that I really enjoyed the story in this one. I was transported to the underwater city and was dazzled by how everything was described.

This book was heavy in some spots. There is a lot of trauma that comes along with Tris and Imriel’s own personal stories. There is violence and grief. I did find myself taking breaks here and there to gather myself. However, through the darkness you see their emotions for one another develop. It does seem to escalate quickly, we have a little bit of insta-feelings brewing, but nothing too extreme. I will also mention that the steamy scenes in this book were a lot more steamy than I could have imagined. I wasn’t expecting them to be so BAM, BAM!

This all being said, sometimes I felt like there was a bit of a race to the finish with this book. There were a lot of loose ends, that although they were taken care of, felt rushed. It was satisfying but felt a little overwhelming to read.

Also, I want to take a moment to gush about my love for Loch. He needs his own book, that’s all I am going to say. HE NEEDS HIS OWN BOOK.
Profile Image for Yani.
67 reviews20 followers
August 19, 2020
I know we should not judge a book by its cover... but it really helps us in picking what to read next, especially for advance reading copies. This is what made me choose Arms of the Ocean from Xpresso Book Tours' Review Opportunity. However, with my 50/50 take on that saying I mentioned, I didn't expect much on this book because I don't want to disappoint myself.

It was not though. I was really glad that I get to read this book. Arms of the Ocean is not the typical sea folklore fantasy I usually encounter e.g mermaids, sea serpent, etc. It's a different take of it. I don't want to mention what because it might spoil you. Knowing it would kill the thrill once you read it. *Wink* Anyway, yes, it's a thrilling adventure once you get to know Tristaine's perplexed life.

Most of the chapters were unfolded by Tristaine and I never had a problem with her tell. So far, she's been the smoothest nineteen year old character that I've read. Brimming of suprises, but still relaxing to read. With this, the atmosphere with the rest of the characters like Imriel and Loch were also calm. The book was also written as if you were just in that cottage, that you can smell the tranquil sea and hear its crashing waves. You'll know as to why Tristaine is attached to the ocean.

Per contra, even though Webster and Dalto have done a good job on arousing your curiousity, there's something inadequate to the novel. I can't quite express what but you know that the book can still give a more satisfactory stretch. Nevertheless, I would definitely read a sequel (because that's not it with Loch!) and I would certainly recommend this to all SFF readers who needs a light read for the summer.

Source: Xpresso Book Tours via Netgalley - Thank you! · I received a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Jamie.
170 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2020
I bought this for the cover...I have regrets. The book is just terrible, the girl Tris is painfully awkward to read about and I cringed about every other word. You know exactly where the story is going the moment you start reading. Everything is completely predictable from a mile away. Then for the cherry on top you got the main character who is incredibly bland, incredibly awkward, and in every way a cliche. She has an insta-love moment which she follows up with by being just incredibly rude and nasty to for no discernible reason. There is the obvious abuse and rape tossed in, the love triangle, the soulmate gimmick, the girl who is nothing special thing, and the relentless 'tension' the author tries to build but there is no tension because we all know exactly what is going on. That last one bothers me the most. You got the author who is trying to build a tension over things left unsaid...but here is the thing, you don't have to say them because it is so abundantly clear what the answer is in the first place. All anyone has to do is have a conversation longer than two seconds and the entire plot, all of the 'secretes', and mystery would be flushed out. It would take all of two minutes to just have one straightforward conversation about anything going on and the book would have been all of ten pages long. Just a really terrible book but a really pretty cover.
Profile Image for Julie.
632 reviews149 followers
August 31, 2021
Trigger warnings: suicide, rape, murder. I enjoyed this story and the world-building. I liked Tris, her passion, and her determination. The strong spirit that won't allow her to live in misery, but instead accepts death, or maybe an entirely new life. The land of Inara was enthralling and as a mermaid lover, it was enjoyable to picture. I liked Emriel as well, the selkie prince, proud but kind. In fact, he's nothing like the typical fae prince (you know, the cold and brutal ones). I liked that there was more to the world than we first see. It's not just the underwater world of the selkie, but there is an entire fae realm, and we even have a friendly cat sidhe (another favorite fae creature of mine). The book has some severe content, and not all are pleasant to read/listen to. The betrayal from a trusted friend due to jealousy, the repeated rape, and abuse, even the murder reveal. The insta-love between our main characters seemed cliche at first, but they explained it with the bond-mate explanation, so I'll take it as a finding of your soulmate and not the typical insta-lust. I really enjoyed the audio narration by Sharon Robbins. I will definitely be looking for other books narrated by her. This is a debut novel, so there's no telling if this will turn into a series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Profile Image for KD.
50 reviews
July 11, 2020
Thank You to Parliament House for an ARC copy for my honest review!

I seriously loved this book! I could not put it down! the story just kept hooking me more and more until the end which made me sad because I totally could have kept reading!! ( I really hope there is a sequel) I don't want to give too much away because to me the synopsis is quite vague which I loved because I went in not really knowing what the story was fully about which made it more exciting in my opinion. this book is full of romance , magic and mystery but just a warning it also deals with some heavy issues such as rape and suicide. the writing was great , the world that the author's created was amazing I do really hope there is a sequel because there is so much more of this world to explore, I loved all the characters... except the villain's which were very vile and disgusting people and I now have a new book boyfriend to add to my list!!! Imriel.. I love him!!!!. defiantly check this one out!!
Profile Image for Nancy.
19 reviews
July 23, 2020
I am a voracious reader and will read just about anything...except the Fantasy genre. I know the author and have watched her journey in creating the book, but never planned to read it. On a whim I decided to order it and began to read. Many chapters later I knew I was hooked!! The story slowly pulls you in from the very first page and leaves you craving more! There are sections with strong, mature subject matter and those with trauma could be triggered. Those however, are well handled and well written. The love story of Tris and Imirel comes to life and you can feel the pain each feels until the very end. I am hoping strongly for a sequel.
Profile Image for Nina Chapman.
47 reviews
July 25, 2020
I’m not sure why I haven’t read any books about sea Fae before because they are amazing!!! It should be said that there are some rough topics in this book. I wish there had been a warning at the beginning of the book. I really loved the uniqueness of this story!! I don’t see many books about the sea Fae as the main characters. Usually all underwater books are about mermaids but this one is about selkies. I really hope that there is another book because I definitely need more of this world!!!
August 17, 2021
I didn't know much about this book before I listened to it on audio tape. I listened to it because my childhood friend is the narrator. She is AWESOME as a narrator so you should definitely give this book a listen! Having said that I did enjoy the book as well. The first few chapters were a little slow but after that the action picks up!
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