Where The Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

What lurks beneath the waves?

In a world where magic is mundane and allows exceptional skill at everyday tasks, a young girl who’s still seeking her Knack befriends a fabled sea monster…. and in doing so becomes the enemy of the society she desperately wishes to be a part of. Kaimana may triumph and save her friend while also finding her place in the world, or she may be torn in two trying to salvage her hopes and dreams from destruction.

If you enjoy short fables and oral storytelling, this may well be the book for you. As in They Mostly Come Out at Night (TMCOAN), Where the Waters Turn Black (WTWTB) alternates between a chapter that forwards the plot and a chapter that is a fable set in that world. I found this approach to be novel and effective. It was also fun to see the growth in Patrick’s writing between the two books – WTWTB was by far stronger in terms of characterization, pacing, and generally in plot. I found it hard to care about the protagonist in TMCOAN, whereas I truly enjoyed Kaimana’s story arc and character growth.

Although I did come to be engaged in Kaimana’s story, I still largely find Patrick’s writing to feel a bit “distant” compared to my favorite authors. I’m not sure if it’s due to the sparser prose or the lighter folklore tone. In any case, this is what dropped it down to a 3-star vs 4-star book for me. I highly recommend Patrick to folks looking to get more into the indie writing scene, however.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy folklore, bite-sized vignettes a la Anansi stories, and those who like mundane magic systems.

Goodreads | Amazon

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About the Author

I’m from a small town in Northern Ireland called Banbridge, but have been living and working in Scotland since I moved here at the age of eighteen. Tragically, that was quite a while ago.

I’ve been writing for most of my life, and have been reading for pretty much all of it (with help from mum and dad at the beginning). My life changed when a substitute primary school teacher read my class part of The Hobbit and I asked him for a lend of the book – I fell in love with the fantasy genre and never looked back.

They Mostly Come Out At Night was my debut novel, and is the first novel in The Yarnsworld series. It has since been followed by three more novels set in the same world.

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