Danielle Jensen’s new fantasy series Dark Shores has no right being the first book in a new series. It just doesn’t feel like the first book in a series. It is rip-roaring adventure that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go.
Thank you to NetGalley and TorTeen for an ARC in exchange for an Honest Review
Two worlds are built simultaneously and fluidly, but it never feels like it. The ancient Rome inspired Celendrial and the pirate ship Quincense. Within those worlds, a multitude of landscapes and provinces are built out as they visited. All are done brilliantly, brought to life throughout the story without ever feeling like an info dump.
Simultaneously, the people and characters that inhabit each (the pagan Cel people from Celendrial and polytheistic Maarin Pirates that inhabit the Quincense) have the kind of depth that breathes life into a story. Jensen is able to not just introduce but develops main and many secondary characters that have true story arcs and again, it is the first book in the series. A first book doesn’t have a right to be this good, this quickly.
Multiple storylines take shape and take off at breakneck speed without sacrificing relevance, context or reader buy-in. Everything that happens initially has a domino effect throughout the story within the first book and continuing consequences throughout the series.
Dark Shores is told through the point of view of main characters’ Teriana and Marcus. Both hold numerous secrets and conduct acts to protect their people and brethren. Soon they realize that while considering each other enemies, the morally grey ground they stand on to save those they consider family, gives them more in common then they think.
As these acts and secrets are revealed the two become closer with each other, and unwittingly those around them. They form alliances with people they never would have expected to protect originally planned, and others they never would have originally considered. Still by the end of the book all is still not what it seems.
Even though there are the two points of view, there is an element of an omniscient narrator that gives the readers information and insight that characters don’t have. So, while the Dark Shores ends on one obvious cliffhanger, it also sits on a ticking time bomb that only the readers know. Other secondary story lines loom in the distance for later exploration.
The addition and creation of seven Gods never muddles the story, characters or worlds that are shaped. Instead the dramatic intensity provided by the Gods is shattering. A battle for the ages amidst the ocean as they confront each other for the right to sink or save the Quincense’s attempt to cross from east to west had me holding my breath. Meanwhile, the revelation of an army general led by the seventh, most treacherous God, provides an additional layer of danger that will touch every character.
Dark Shores is a thrilling, rollicking read that will leave everyone desperate for more.
23 thoughts on “ARC Review- Dark Shores by Danielle Jensen Kicks Off New Series – Out 5/7”
Those are the best kinds of books! This sounds like such a good read!!
Yey so glad you liked this! I’ve heard really good things, and cant wait to pick it up 😀
Oh you are gonna love it!!!
Fantastic review!! Ancient Rome inspiration and pirates?! I need this book!
Thank you! It is an incredible book! You won’t be disappointed
This sounds brilliant! Have added it to my TBR, great review!
Fantastic! You will not be disappointed!
I absolutely adored her mix of ancient Rome, pirates, and distinctive world building, this was definitely a great read to start the month with! Loved your review!
It just doesn’t read like the FIRST book in a series… it reads like the second or even third. It is incredible. I completely agree but I thought maybe it is me. I always loved the plays based in ancient rome/greece
Omg this sounds absolutely amazing and SO up my alley! I feel like you read that post about what makes a great book and hand picked a title that will be perfect for me. Because based on your review this sounds like something I NEED to read. For some reason this isn’t even on my TBR!
I dont know why it is flying under the radar. I had thought it was pretty much on the radar and then all the talk went dead and Lord knows why?? It is delicious! Please tell me when you read it! I have to know what you think!
Maybe they released ARCs too early?
Possibly. I always ask about embargoes after screening up the Wicked king and reviewing it some six months ahead of time lol. But I have noticed a lot of people dont. Although I did just get an arc of a book coming out in Oct and I could swear the publisher is upset I’m not getting to it till late Aug/early Sept.. which seemed odd to me?
I have SO many ARCs that come out this fall right now! Like why do I have so many of them this early?! It’s hard because I’m trying to wait to read them, but I’m super excited for a lot of them!
There isn’t much coming out over the summer and the ones that are, are all on July 9th and August 6th (or July 6th and Aug 9th… one of the two – it is in my calendar)… 95% of them anyway… it is very odd. Then in the Fall it is kind of the same thing as far as all on one or two dates. You’d think, like movies, publishers would want to spread things out. I’m not sure why everything is getting bunched into a few dates?
I have a ton of titles that come out in September and October. I think that most books come out on Tuesdays?
They all do but there are a couple specific dates in Sept and Oct like July and Aug that a bulk of books seem to be releasing on. It isn’t as glaring is July and Aug but it is a majority or it is just bad luck with the books I have looked at lol
I feel like most books come out on Tuesdays? But I’m not sure if that’s true. I know it is for DVDs.
They do… They are just two specific Tuesdays (one in July and one in August). Lol