Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours, as well as the author and publisher for giving me a copy of ‘In Deeper Waters’ in exchange for an unbiased, and honest review!! This is my stop for the tour, and you can click the banner below to view the full schedule, and explore other posts!!
Title: In Deeper Waters
Author: F.T. Lukens
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Adventure, LGBTQIA+
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Final Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
What I liked
The sibling dynamics, and relationships. Tal was the second youngest sibling, out of 5 total, so it was very fun to see things from his perspective. Usually, when you read books about royals, you get the oldest child’s POV, so viewing Tal’s way of seeing things, was refreshing. Because Tal was the second youngest, it meant loads of teasing for him, because he was almost always picked on by his three older siblings. To be honest, I loved the banter between them, because it reminded me of all the petty fights and arguments I have with my little brother, and how much my older cousins mock me. It was also so heartwarming to see all his siblings, and mother care so aggressively for him, because it shows that no matter how much they tease, and annoy each other, they’re still family.
The characters and their friendships. All the characters were just soft cinnamon rolls, and I loved them for that, but what I loved even more was how complex each of them were. I’m not going to spoil anything, but what I really loved was that even though they were all so compassionate, *some* of them put on masks to act tougher, or to please the public, and it was interesting to see how that played out in the plot, as well as their relationships with one another. All the friendships were so supportive, and even through all the small actions, it was evident how much they cared about each other.
All the SOFT feels. Even though this was a high fantasy, it just gave me so much joy and serotonin. Tal and Athlen gave me huge Nick and Charlie (from Heartstopper) vibes, and I loved seeing the way their relationship progressed 🥺🤍 The ending was also so soft, and gave me so much comfort,,,,,,,,,, I don’t think I need to say anything else lol.
What wasn’t my cup of tea
The underdeveloped worldbuilding. I’m not going to say the worldbuilding wasn’t creative or unique, but I definitely would have liked the book a lot more if we got more insight into the world. Of course, we did get to see certain kingdoms, and very light political intrigue, but I would have enjoyed the book more if those topics were further expanded on.
In Deeper Waters was a soft, magical fantasy, that filled me with warmth, and gently tugged at my heartstrings. With adorable characters, relatable sibling dynamics, and supportive friendships, it’s taken a place in my heart as a new comfort read! Although the worldbuilding was a bit weak, and I would have loved more political intrigue and tension, this book is definitely one I would recommend to fans of Heartstopper, and sea-shanties in general!
About the Author
F.T. Lukens is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. A sci fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Wars and Star Trek and is a longtime member of their college’s science-fiction club. F.T. holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.
F.T.’s urban fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations For Mediating Myths & Magic won several awards including the 2017 Foreword INDIES Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2017 IPBA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best Teen Fiction and the 2017 Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. It was also named to the 2019 ALA Rainbow Book List.
FOR THIS TOUR, WE HAVE TWO (2) SEPERATE GIVEAWAYS! UP FOR GRABS, WE HAVE ONE (1) FINISHED COPY OF IN DEEPER WATERS BY F.T. LUKENS (AVAILABLE TO US ONLY), AND ONE (1) DIGITAL COPY OF IN DEEPER WATERS BY F.T. LUKENS (AVAILABLE TO INTL ONLY)!
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ➡ HERE!