Namesake

- Adrienne Young

GOODREADS BOOK BLURB:

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and the rest of the crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when Fable becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination, she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them, then she must risk everything—including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

SERIES / GENRES:

MY REVIEW:

enjoyable/easy to read:
3.5/5
Rinse and repeat of Fable; only insert a grandmother and make everyone even more emotional.

I had never felt so much of my father inside of me as in that moment, and instead of scaring me, it flooded me with a sense of steadying power. The tide-pull of strength anchored my feet as I remembered.
I wasn’t just some Jevali dredger or a pawn in Zola’s feud with West. I was Saint’s daughter. And before I left the Luna, every bastard on this crew was going to know it.

The camaraderie that made Fable so good was missing in Namesake. Instead, there’s a lot of angst, misdirected anger, and bargaining. Without the found family, this crew is just a bunch of randoms stuck on a ship together. West and Fable are too much of a rollercoaster to enjoy – plotting against each other to save one another, so much ‘darkness’ to overcome, it’s all a little heavy-handed. Every (short) chapter seems to end on the most overwrought sentiment; personal sacrifice, grief, lost love, exhaustion. It’s great for the first few, but then it feels contrived and more of a ploy than an honest moment.

"I don’t even know why I’m doing this," I whispered, watching the water flash silver in the rising sunlight. "Saint would never do it for me."
Clove turned slowly, looking down at me. "You can’t really believe that."
"Why wouldn’t I?"
He snorted, shaking his head. "That man would sink his fleet for you, Fable. He’d walk away from everything."
A lump curled painfully in my throat. "No, he wouldn’t."
Clove pulled the cap back on his head, casting his face in shadow. "Isolde isn’t the only name we aren’t allowed to say." [...]
I watched him go, breathing through the sting smarting behind my eyes. The words he’d said about my father were dangerous things. They held the power to crush me. Because the most fragile hope I’d ever held was that somewhere in the flesh and bone of him, Saint had loved me.
There was a part of me that was terrified to find out if it was true. And an even bigger part that knew it would destroy me.

There are some excellent parts in Namesake, don’t get me wrong. I love the plotting and the hints at being a gem sage, the second-guessing of everyone’s motives and how things will work out. Unfortunately, there are too many conflicting plots which means that the insurmountable problems are solved too easily to make way for the next impossible situation. And nothing works out the way it’s supposed to, but don’t worry, it does. It’s all too easy – without allowing time to sit in the consequences of some very big decisions made here, everything starts to feel inconsequential. And if nothing matters, why are we here?

The words on the cover are very misleading.
TRADER
Literally nothing is traded throughout this entire book. Deals are made, and bargains struck, but no goods exchange hands.
FIGHTER
If anything, Fable is the opposite of a fighter – she’s dragged from one situation to another with very little say. HOSTAGE would’ve been more accurate.
LEGEND
How can she be a legend when even her grandmother didn’t know she existed? Is her mother supposed to be the legend? Maybe to her family but not to many others. Or is it the gems that are legends? That seems a little high-handed for one little gem lost twenty years ago.
It’s like the first book being called Fable despite being only marginally magical realism. So many lies.

I’m surprised there’s another book in this series, as I’m starting to doubt we needed this one. I will admit that it did round things up nicely, though. I’m worried it’ll feel excessive, but I am always hopeful that I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If nothing else in life, I’m always optimistic about books.

When I turned to look at West, that same starlight glinted in his eyes. I found his hand and held it to my cheek, remembering the first time I’d seen him on the docks. The first time I’d seen him smile. The first time I’d seen his darkness and every time he’d seen mine.
We were salt and sand and sea and storm.
We were made in the Narrows.

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