Review of From Tormented Tides by Val E. Lane

Unravel the past. Break the curse. Pass midterms.
And don’t fall in love with dead pirates…

Katrina Delmar has no idea that Milo, the charming guy she meets at a college party, was supposed to have died at sea 300 years ago. She only knows that she’s drawn to him right away. But she’s also caught the attention of his crewmate, Bellamy, whose mysterious allure is hard to resist.

Falling for undead pirates is the least of her worries when there seems to be something sinister lurking beneath the surface. And when the ruthless captain of the ship discovers Katrina may hold the key to breaking the crew’s curse, he’s hellbent on taking it from her at whatever cost.

With time running out, Katrina must learn who she can trust and unlock the mysteries of the past before she and those she loves are pulled under by a curse of her own.

FTT is a Contemporary Pirate Fantasy with a slow burn romance. Suitable for most upper YA readers.
Please note some elements contained in this book include: Mentions of Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Alcoholism, Nightmares/Hallucinations, Drowning, Very brief implied SA threat, Violence, Death of a loved one, Brief torture, Case of a violent murder

I was quite excited for this because it had come up SO OFTEN when I was scrolling tiktok! I was glad that I put this off so I was starting it right around Halloween. I did quite enjoy this book, however, it did seem like it was really geared more towards being a YA book, not even a new adult one. There was some mention of how Trina and her roommate were still getting used to being on their own and didn’t have a lot of complex food/couldn’t cook, but it was almost an aside. If you have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer or watched The Vampire Diaries it seemed very similar in dynamic and feel, except somehow the character is a college Freshman. That being said, there are multiple mentions of missing class, dazing off, but no stakes/repercussions for doing so.

Aside from the very YA feel, the book itself had quite a neat story. The pirates and interlocking back story were well thought out and put together, and I did quite enjoy our main characters. Unfortunately, as we learn more of the past, the little “love triangle” begins to seem far more forced just to have it in, and out of character for the male, though there also isn’t really any sort of connection seen from the female side either. While there is a decent ending, I personally felt like it was expected/contrite. There wasn’t ever the real feeling of danger throughout the book, and I think the overall “mystery” was very obvious from the beginning (or at least once one went into a certain antique shop). All in all, I did like it, but it was far more along the lines of a light YA novel than the potential slow burn romantic fantasy it is pitched as.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

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