I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
AUTHOR: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.
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.
Setting the Scene
Mood Before Reading
In a need for a pick-me-up read. The last book I read before this one was pretty disappointing and since everyone was raving about this one, I figured it’d be a good choice.
Oh, goodness, where to begin? Fable is about a girl named, wait for it, Fable, who aspires to be a powerful trader (think pirate businessman) like her father and partner up with him. The only problem is her father abandoned her on an island in the middle of nowhere a few years ago, so reaching her goal is not as easy as it might sound.
The world-building in Fable is quite fantastic. Right off the bat, Fable, our narrator, starts painting a rich picture of the world she lives in, and it’s quite enchanting. That said, I hope the published version has a glossary or something because even with my inference skills, some of the terms Fable uses (mainly boating/ship related terms) threw me for a loop. Some of the transitions in the first few chapters certainly did not help my comprehension, and it got to the point where I thought my ARC might be missing some pages. That’s how confused I was. But don’t worry, I was able to make sense of everything. Eventually.
It was quite interesting to read about Fable herself. I admired her grit and strength, but most of all, I loved her development throughout the book. I appreciated how she learned to grow as a person as she dealt with all the twists life (and the plot of Fable) threw at her. I wish I could say the same about all the side characters. Let’s just say there was a real potential for them to feel like a found family, but they fall short of that. All the side characters are just too underdeveloped, so they feel like a bunch of friendly coworkers instead of a family.
But my biggest issue with Fable is its plot. I don’t know, it just feels kind of… empty, almost like nothing much happened? It’s reminiscent of a travel vlog that only documents a plane ride with a few bumps in the road (in the air?). It’s interesting, but also kind of stagnant despite its fast pacing.
Fable does have some nuggets of mystery mixed in with the plot that add allure, but none of it feels like it was going anywhere. Mostly, it planted a lot of seeds for things that might be explored more in the future but never really grow any plants in the story. In short, Fable felt like one massive setup of its sequel.
Oh, and about the romance. What romance? I liked how it didn’t play a significant role in the story but hate that it was even a thing at all. It needs more development to be even somewhat believable.
Don’t get me wrong, Fable is exciting, and a quick read and I genuinely did enjoy it. But I do think my experience of it was tainted a bit by my expectations. Everyone I know was hyping it up so much, and the synopsis really talked it up, and unfortunately, it fell a little short of that. I’m still excited to read the sequel, though. And I’m glad it’s coming soon because Fable‘s ending is the textbook definition of a cliffhanger.
I liked Fable, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as everyone else seems to. 😅 It’s a quick read and full of intrigue, and the world-building is really nicely done. I just wish the side characters were more developed, and the plot was meatier. The whole book honestly feels like a setup for the sequel, which I can’t wait to read after the way Fable ended. Good thing it comes out in March!