“You respect people who take care of other people. People who are bold. And brave. I couldn’t figure it out at first. Why you thought more of common wherrymen than you did of me. You respect people because of the things they do. You were different from everyone I’d ever met. You knew what I did not – that it’s the things we do that make us who we are.”
Title: Song of the Current
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Song of the Current # 1
Publication: June 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Summary from Goodreads:
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.
Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.
I had no idea what to expect when walking into this book. I knew almost nothing about it – only that it sounded interesting and I had the time to spare. Song of the Current was much more than I expected it to be. It was fun, entertaining, and an anxiety inducing cat/mouse adventure. However, Song of the Current suffered from a lack of world building and an abundance of infodumping. Overall, it could have been better, but it also good have been a lot worse. I still found myself smiling, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying this thrill ride of a book.
The strongest, and by far the most enjoyable part of this book, was Caro. She was brave, bold, and everything she needed to be – but she was also doubtful, and vulnerable, and just trying to save her family. She was this great mixture of brash, brilliant, and hilarious. One of my favorite parts of the whole book is the initial interactions between her and Markos because she refuses to put up with his crap. It’s amazing. I’m smiling just thinking about it. Another reason I adored her was because I understood her motivations. She was driven by one thing – to free her father. It was simple and clean, but it was still an adventure inducing motivation that had its own internal complications. I also found her struggle with her own identity to be one of the most compelling parts of this book. It grounded the narrative and gave us readers something to relate to.
What I personally struggled with was the setting. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around where and when this whole thing was taking place. At first I thought it was a historical fiction, but then frog people showed up and I got so confused. The world building turned into infodumping, which in turn left me back in the dust. I still only have the faintest idea of the history of the place – which it turns out is actually important. Oops. Now, the book is still amazing and I would read it all over again, and then some. However, I found myself bogged down by trying to understand what was going on in the beginning. I think Song of the Current would have benefited from laying the foundation and then all the action. The other way around simply did not work in this case.
Overall, Song of the Current was entertaining and exactly what I needed. While some of the infodumping felt like swimming through Jell-O, the rest of the book was a refreshing, much needed breeze. I loved Caro and her family, I loved the culture of the Wherrymen once I figured it all out, and I loved Markos even though I kind of wanted to slap him around sometimes. I do highly recommend reading this, especially if you are a fan of books like Daughter of the Pirate King or Vengeance Road.