Title: The Forever Sea
Author: Joshua Phillip Johnson
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Page Count: 464
My rating: 2 stars
About the book:
The first book in a new environmental epic fantasy series set in a world where ships kept afloat by magical hearthfires sail an endless grass sea.
On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship when she receives devastating news. Her grandmother—The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper—has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the sea.
But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it.
To follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, Kindred must embroil herself in conflicts bigger than she could imagine: a water war simmering below the surface of two cultures; the politics of a mythic pirate city floating beyond the edges of safe seas; battles against beasts of the deep, driven to the brink of madness; and the elusive promise of a world below the waves.
Kindred finds that she will sacrifice almost everything—ship, crew, and a life sailing in the sun—to discover the truth of the darkness that waits below the Forever Sea.
The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson is the first book in a new epic fantasy series by the same title. While one would think a pirate adventure would be reading about the endless ocean this series builds a completely creative new world in which the ships sail upon the prairie grasses.
Kindred Greyreach is a crew member aboard the Errant who is still in training and hasn’t quite yet fit in with the rest of the crew. Kindred’s job aboard the vessel is hearthfire keeper in which she uses her magic to fuel the hearthfire that propels the ship. When pirates come for the Errant Kindred makes moves that infuriates the captain putting them all in danger.
I have always had a thing for pirates so of course i had to pick this one up and check out the story within. If I were to grade The Forever Sea on world building alone this one would have received a much higher mark as the idea of giant ships sailing across the endless grasses was one that brought a wonderful world to mind. However, I just couldn’t find myself caring about the characters in the story at all. Readers are dropped right into the action which might have been the reason however since I’m an action lover I wasn’t sure why I didn’t love this one.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Joshua Phillip Johnson lives in a little green house on what used to be the prairie with his partner and their child. His work has appeared in Syntax & Salt, The Future Fire, and Metaphorosis Magazine, among others. He teaches at a small liberal arts university. The Forever Sea is his first novel.