Review The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross

4:30 AM

The Midnight Sea
Kat Ross
(Fourth Element #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….
Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.
Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.
As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

THE MIDNIGHT SEA’s cover is beyond A-MAZ-ING and it is totally what made me stop and read the description for this book when it popped up as a part of a blog tour. (yes I received this one in exchange for my honest opinion)
Outside of the cover, the high fantasy setting of all this was the other factor that got its claws in me. I read it within days of it arriving in my inbox…..but then stopped almost half way through because, while wonderfully built and constructed, I somehow lost interest in the story and characters. (This still baffles me) 
Then a few weeks later I picked it back up and reread it and found myself falling deeper into the world of Nazafareen and the Water Dogs more than I had the first time.
Nazafareen was an amazingly strong, driven and very relatable character that I connected with almost immediately. I felt so bad for her after the death of her sister, and she was so brave to leave her nomadic tribe to join the King’s Water Dog, an elite fighting force. To become a Water Dog you have to bond with a daeva—slaves with powerful magic to wield against the Undead (who killed her sister). 
As you can guess, Darius is Nazafareen’s daeva, and her star crossed/forbidden love interest.
Their romance………….NICE! This one was a slow burn build up that paid off well in the end, after so much delicious tension had been built. I gotta say, the whole bond that lets her feel all his emotions is not exactly the most unique of ideas, but it provided a fair bit of humor into a very heavy and dark story.
All the other many characters were so well crafted and fleshed out, even the villains and the lunatic at the end felt like they could have been real people. It was easy to make connections and see the story of their lives and understand what they were going through.
I loved the intricately crafted world Kay Ross built. It was detailed and rich, but a bit too much like Game of Thrones at some points (both in world building and plot and characters—depending on your opinions of GOT then this may work for you). That said, I love the Greek/Persian world set back in the time of Alexander the Great (which seems to be the new fantasy setting/time period for a lot of fantasy books this last year and a half).
The plot of the book was steady, packed with danger and emotional situations I think most people can sink into and love, but it really didn’t start to totally pay off for me until the last third of the book. Overall I loved this book and I think it’s a wonderful start to a new series and I am excited to get my hands on the next book.
This one is definitely for fans of YA fantasy, GoT and Tamora Pierce fans!


Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

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