Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I think I set my expectations too high.
It had me for the first half. But something switched over and I suddenly felt like I was reading a completely different book that just had the same names as S&S.
It wasn't the addition of sea monster that got me either, I'm not that level of an Austen purist. Those bits were all fun and entertaining. But rather, the sudden out of character behavior in order to benefit the sea monster aspect, in some cases downplaying/overlooking major canon plot points needed for the overall story, replacing them with dramatic sea battles, that after the first few instances, made me want to shake some of the characters. Sorry, but Elinor would not look on with a "shrug, I'll just ignore the servant being eaten by a narwhal" attitude.
I also wasn't on board with new story lines added, simply because they didn't seem to go anywhere. There was a whole plot with Margaret that I was genuinely interested in reading, but it kept getting pushed aside so Willoughby could whine about his bad choices, and then it completely fell off.
I'm also suspicious that the author hates Brandon which could be a whole other rant.
I liked the concept, and the sea monster parts were great I just wanted more of the characters (and their personalities) I love from S&S to be there. If it was a standard novel, I'd probably like it a lot more.
View all my reviews