Just today, I read a review on Tor. com about a newly released book, Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler.
The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price.
Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is difficult. The circus master wants a Coat of Illusions; the Coat tailor wants her undead husband back from a witch; the witch wants her skin back from two bandits; the bandits just want some company, but they might kill her first. Lilly's quest tests her resolve, tries her patience, and leaves her transformed in every way.
A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, S.M. Wheeler's Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.
The Tor article gives a much more in depth and personal review, ending with:
My library doesn't have it yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open and am hopeful they will soon. I think it is one I would really enjoy.If you’re not a fan of slow-burn introductions and lots of description, you may find that Sea Change has a little difficulty holding your attention in the first few chapters, especially because, as I mentioned earlier, Wheeler’s prose does tend to get away from her a little at times. However I urge you to keep going; events become clearer and before you know it, you will be completely swept away. Like the magical coat Lilly is seeking, many of the threads don’t come together until the last few chapters, but I’m not ashamed to admit that when they did, I was in tears. Sea Change struck home with me on a very personal level, and I think a lot of readers will see a little bit of themselves and their own struggles toward adulthood and self-realization in Lilly’s adventures.And maybe a little bit of magic, too.