The amount of plot holes in this book will trigger your trypophobia. rep bi mc, poc sapphic mc, sapphic parents, side poc charactersrtc but like, the romance sneaks up on u then just swallows u whole at one point and it s amazing rep bi mc, poc sapphic mc, sapphic parents, side poc charactersrtc but like, the romance sneaks up on u then just swallows u whole at one point and it s amazing This was so atmospheric and gorgeously written The prose seriously took my breath away, it just had the gorgeous descriptions I crave in books, and reminded me of Anna Marie McLe s work Like let s just introduce you to this witchy, sea wild tale, full of salt and blood and longing girls and aching boys, sacrifices and sinking islands, witches bitter with regret, and girls who want to save the world but ending just breaking everything I definitely fell a bit in love with the world The w This was so atmospheric and gorgeously written The prose seriously took my breath away, it just had the gorgeous descriptions I crave in books, and reminded me of Anna Marie McLe s work Like let s just introduce you to this witchy, sea wild tale, full of salt and blood and longing girls and aching boys, sacrifices and sinking islands, witches bitter with regret, and girls who want to save the world but ending just breaking everything I definitely fell a bit in love with the world The whole premise is this island is sinking and the people rely on the witches to hold back the dark tide, but to do that the witch queen sacrifices a human boy each year The tide s malicious pleasure is sated Everyone else gets to live But this year, the boy Lina has a crush on Thomas Lin is taken and she refuses to let him die So she takes his place And then uncovers dark secrets behind the ritual while she s caught up in the witches tower with the dark and bitter Eva, witch queen who infamously has no heart This all just makes my bones weep with joy and it s a tale crafted with words that just capture imagination and enchant you.Dark Bitter Lovely.I did want a bitfrom the characters though I loved them I just felt I barely knew anyone except Lina She was headstrong, brave, typical Gryffindor who ran into trouble without ever thinking about it But I just wanted things to get deeper The plot hinged on Thomas Lin but I barley understood him as a person And I LOVED EVA omg she is an antisocial piece of black and bitter coffee and wish we hadabout her backstory too Eva, Thomas and Natalia s story would have been amazing to knowI almost wish the book started there A beautiful tale, very ethereal and atmospheric Queer and dark and whimsical I just wanted it to be a bit There is nothingexciting to me than the premise of a girl going to save a guy, except she falls in love with the villain who is keeping that guy captive instead And if that villian just happens to be a woman Exquisite Also throw in a sinking island city, magical worldbuilding and a stunning cover, and you ve got me hook, line and sinker I ve come out of THE DARK TIDE utterly obsessed with Eva, the Witch Queen I relate to her a lot, especially in terms of how she views the world I a There is nothingexciting to me than the premise of a girl going to save a guy, except she falls in love with the villain who is keeping that guy captive instead And if that villian just happens to be a woman Exquisite Also throw in a sinking island city, magical worldbuilding and a stunning cover, and you ve got me hook, line and sinker I ve come out of THE DARK TIDE utterly obsessed with Eva, the Witch Queen I relate to her a lot, especially in terms of how she views the world I also want to be her, with her cool suits and cigarettes and cocky attitude when it comes to Lina She also has a pet sea serpent That s awesome Eva is such a Slytherin, and Lina is such a Gryffindor, and I m over here like ahhhh, melting into a puddle of feels It s the brave girl meets cold and cynical girl and starts to pull her out of her shell trope with these two There s also a lot of banter between the two of them which doesn t happen with other characters, and I find it mildly hilarious how these two girls suddenly become sassy Lina or cocky Eva around each other in a way they aren t with others It s cute Putting aside my love for Eva, Lina is a great heroine to follow I am very much an Eva stan, but this book is dual narrative and I equally enjoyed reading both perspectives It s a nice change, given I usually prefer one over the other I do believe Lina was developed further as a character and hadidiosyncrasies, but one could equally argue Eva s character is withdrawn and so maybe that s why we as readers don t find out as much about her There s still another book to go, after all For those who are thinking this is a villain x hero love story, I would say to carefully moderate your expectations In the blurb Eva is framed as the villian, but to be fair she s not so much a villain as she is a girl completely helpless to stop the sea and dark tide, which is the real antagonist of the story If you came in expecting an incredibly tumultuous morally grey relationship between Lina and Eva, there are flavours of it if you squint hard at some dialogue , but the fact is that although Eva is definitely slightly cold and withdrawn, she s not downright evil There are shades of enemies to lovers, but Lina hasn t really harboured a lifelong burning hatred for Eva and is only in conflict with her once Eva takes her crush, Thomas Lin, as the sacrifice Moving on, one thing I didn t expect before going into THE DARK TIDE was just how much presence the worldbuilding has in the story There are books where the world is just as much as a character as the actual characters, and this is such a case Arguably, the worldbuilding is perhaps the strongest aspect of THE DARK TIDE not in that it is extremely detailed, but in that it s enchanting and fairytale esque It has a exquisite ghibli vibes, this sinking island city of Caldella, where there are ice cream shops and broom boats and flavoured cigarettes and pastel coloured houses and witches that make charms out of pearls and hair It s a little Venetian and a little fairytale, and totally magical The big critique I have is that I did feel this story lacked was development, and because of that, depth THE DARK TIDE is a quick read, and I felt a fewscenes could have really helped flesh things out Especially when developing the relationship between Lina and Eva, where the build up felt brief For instance, there was a time jump early on of four days before the regatta, and instead of a jump, a few scenes of Lina engaging with Eva over those 4 days would ve been quite nice to establishcontact between the two They don t kiss until late in the novel and they do have scenes together before then, but not quite enough for the kiss to feel completely credible Also, look, I just really like these two and I want to seeof them together Given the premise of this story, I could have easily read 100 or sopages if it allowed fordevelopment But on the flip side, this story is very quickly paced because of the brevity of some scenes, so I did devour it in under 24 hours Further, I am pretty sure this story started off as a Tam Lin retelling I mean, the guy Lina originally likes is called Thomas Lin, it s kinda obvious and morphed into a queer f f story where the girl falls in love with the hot queen keeping the guy captive, and if that isn t a glow up, I don t know what is Someone should rewrite Tam Lin and make the girl saving Tam Lin fall in love with the faerie queen instead, but that s a completely different topic so I digress So technically that makes THE DARK TIDE a fairytale retelling of sorts, if that floats your boat TL DR Absolutely a debut worth a read especially if you re searching for f f content that gives me light fairytale vibes I can t wait to see with Alicia Jasinska does next 4 stars Loved the atmosphere of this and the wonderful prose UPDATE Wow, why didn t anybody tell me this got a cover It s so pretty sapphic witchesenemies to lovers author with Polish sounding name insta twitter blog booksirens duolingo UPDATE Wow, why didn t anybody tell me this got a cover It s so pretty sapphic witchesenemies to lovers author with Polish sounding name insta twitter blog booksirens duolingo The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city Every year on St Walpurga s Eve, Caldella s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinkingLina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace But they draw the queen s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrificeQueen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved Now as queen, she won t make the same mistake She s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her cityWhen Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other As water floods Caldella s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both Blog Instagram TwitterThank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC All thoughts and opinions are mine it often felt like everything exciting, everything that meant anything,had happened before she was old enough to take part.The stories were over, the books closed, and she was stuckliving in somebody else s happily ever after Every once in a while I read a novel that has all the promise in the world, and yet I can t connect with it for no other reason than the fact Blog Instagram TwitterThank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC All thoughts and opinions are mine it often felt like everything exciting, everything that meant anything,had happened before she was old enough to take part.The stories were over, the books closed, and she was stuckliving in somebody else s happily ever after Every once in a while I read a novel that has all the promise in the world, and yet I can t connect with it for no other reason than the fact that the chemistry is just not there I really like the concept of The Dark Tide it s fascinating, and there were things about the book that I enjoyed But overall, it did not win me over.The island town of Caldella is beautiful Like other readers pointed out, I was reminded of Venice the second we began to weave though the streets while led by one of our leads, Lina It s a picturesque place full of lively people The history of the land, with its Witch Queens of past, and the sacrifices that are forced upon the island, was an intriguing idea And while I like it when stories begin with a bang, I think that there was far too much happening in The Dark Tide from the get go for me to easily get my bearings By the time that I finally did, there was a huge lull that lasted until the last few chapters, when things exploded into action once.This is listed as the first inbooks to come, but as this novel stands on its own, the characters were flat save for the leads, Eva and Lina Eva was great, she s smart and sharp with a wicked sense of humor and a soft side that she tries to hide from others That last is a bit stereotypical, because of course she doesn t want others to see that she cares being the big bag Witch Queen that she needs to be, but she pulls it off Lina, on the other hand, comes cross as naive and impulsive, doesn t really think about the consequences of her actions until she s smack in the middle of a bad one, and she s overall infuriating I didn t fall for the romance between these two until the very last two chapters, and while not wholly convinced, the ending was rather sweet between them There s a nice build up there for the next book The rest of the cast of characters are one dimensional, with barely anything happening among them unless they re needed to step in so that they can advance the plot along The exception to this is the trio of Thomas, Marcin and Finley These three hold the role of bad guy in one way or another throughout the story Thomas is selfish and reportedly doesn t care about much other than to save his own skin til the end, when he seems to grow a conscience Marcin so obviously wants to be king of the witches of Caldella that I have no idea how it takes Eva so long to notice and Finley is the big bad brother who has a quick temper and apparently that means that he likely can be prone to make others suffer physical violence And then to make things worse, Jun yet another lad tries to murder Lina Yes, they do nice things here and there, but they re still cast in this mostly negative light I don t know why it was just the guys that always hold the bad lot in this novel, or if this was unintentional, but it still grated on me.There were still noteworthy moments not to be ignored, however Eva s pet sea serpent is magnificent, as is the mythology of her love for dancing The water palace itself is magnificent, and I wish thattime would have been spent exploring it other than its incessantly mischievous and spell bound doors I wanted to seeof the island town of Caldella itself, as well as the ruins of the old city I enjoyed the loophole that Eva thought of and the way that she had of saving the year s sacrifice, even if I saw it coming halfway through to the event This tale has its charms, if only they d been exploited to their limits I have my fingers crossed that we ll seeof what I enjoyed in the next book, as well as what s still to be explored The potential is there for this world to grow and flourish arc provided by the publisher through net galley, all thoughts are my own WHEW, I knew I was gonna like this and I was NOT disappointed let me first preface this review by saying that I definitely don t think this book is perfect nor do I think it will jive with everyone it does have inconsistencies with pacing and structure there were a lot of times where I didn t really know where the story was going I think certain elements should have been introduced better and explained better BUT th arc provided by the publisher through net galley, all thoughts are my own WHEW, I knew I was gonna like this and I was NOT disappointed let me first preface this review by saying that I definitely don t think this book is perfect nor do I think it will jive with everyone it does have inconsistencies with pacing and structure there were a lot of times where I didn t really know where the story was going I think certain elements should have been introduced better and explained better BUT this book is SO beautifully written and SO gay both things that will make me forget about your book s shortcomings if you are an aesthetic driven reader, a atmosphere driven reader THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU I cannot tell you how many highlights I had for this book in fact I ll share them here I even had to tweet the author to see if she had a Pinterest board for this book I was so captivated by the masterpiece the author painted with her words It was INCREDIBLE AND HELLO SAPPHICS, WE WON AGAIN I think if you re not queer in any capacity or even if you are you may also have some issues with the romance it is definitely irritation to lovers and the transition isn t really there BUT I DIDNT GIVE A SHIIIIITTTTTTTT their tension IMMACULATE their first kiss HARD AS FUCK their growth POETRY I stan 1 cancer x capricorn pairing overall, if you love an atmospheric sapphic read, you ll really enjoy this if you re a plot driven reader proceed with caution not to be nsfw on main but i want to r st my head on eva s should r rep bi mc, lesbian mc