Time is all we have; it flows – it cannot stop.
Jayne wakes up in hospital following a terrible accident, which changes her life as she knew it. While struggling to recover, she is visited by a mysterious woman who offers her a gift. To the girl’s astonishment, she finds herself on a journey, on both the physical and mental plane. It brings her to the mystical realm of Entyre, where life is very different and power lies with the creatures of the deep. While the threads of time keep flowing, Jayne must decide what is real, who to trust, and regain her inner strength in order to find herself and her true destiny.
Going into this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a great start to a series that reminded me of The Neverending Story and Neil Gaiman.
As usual, I'll start with the bad. As I stated in my other book reviews, I don't like authors switching between third- and first-person narratives. Stick with one and use it. It wasn't as jarring in this book since we are with Jayne in the magical worlds for most of the book. As for Jayne herself, she really didn't do much for me. I like the fact she was paralyzed inane accident and developed a fear of water. She had much to overcome. I felt that she overcame her tasks a little easily but she was a friendly main character.
But if the main character was a plain Jayne (sorry, I couldn't resist) the worlds Johnstone created were anything but. While the repeated colors and description first annoyed me, I later appreciated them. Johnstone created vivid pictures in my mind of Entyre and the other worlds and her imagery made me want to visit those places. I imagined the magical atmosphere of Neverending Story with the colors and shapes of Tim Burton (without the creepiness). Cidanet, the talking dragonfly, seemed Gaiman-esque and was an interesting character.
The two halves of the book are very different, with Jayne in an underwater city then going on a magical adventure quest through various worlds. I really want to see how all these places fit together.
The Sea Inside is an enjoyable book.