Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.
Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.
Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.
Praise for DROWNED:
“Despite the presence of royalty and two hunky boys, Drowned is not your average post-apocalyptic fantasy romance. The unusual setting of a human settlement on the brink of collapse and several simmering background mysteries . . . keep the pages turning.” – Booklist
“Full of suspense, romance, and mystery, Drowned is a thrilling read that will appeal to fans of dystopian adventures.” – VOYA
“An atmospheric, uneasy tale of survival.” – Kirkus
“Suspense mounts as Coe and Tiam explore the labyrinth beneath the royal palace and the mysteries of their island’s past. A fantasy twist toward the end of this series opener from Reilly fits perfectly with the fairy tales Coe retells throughout the novel.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“This suspenseful and dramatic tale will make readers feel just as trapped as Coe feels by the rising tides. Coe is an interesting and well-developed character that teens will root for every step of the way, and the other inhabitants of her island provide foils and allies alike. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, and readers will clamor for a sequel.” – School Library Journal
"This is a world like you've never seen before but with themes and issues that strike surprisingly close to home. A thrilling, brilliant read!" -- Aprilynne Pike, NYT Bestselling Author of Wings
"A resourceful and smart heroine and a society literally on the edge of survival. Take a deep breath. Once you start reading, you won't be able to stop!" -- Maria V. Snyder, NYT Bestselling Author of Poison Study
"A gripping and romantic tale featuring a truly original heroine facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I loved it!" -- Morgan Rhodes, NYT Bestselling Author of Fallen Kingdoms
Ten things You Didn't Know About Drowned
1. I actually wrote DROWNED many years ago, but was too busy writing paranormal books under my Cyn Balog name to have a chance to revise it.
2. The first title I had for it was TIDES (that was the document name), and then I changed it to DREAM KINGDOM, which is part of one of my favorite poems, The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. The chapter headings and many of the images in the book are derived from the poem.
3. Originally one of the first scenes in the book was the remaining children in “school”, reciting the tides timetables for the coming week so that they would make sure that they didn’t get carried away by the ocean, like some children had a few days before. I deleted it because the society I wanted to portray was too far-gone to care about whether children were 1) schooled, and 2) safe.
4. I wrote about 3 or 4 drafts of the book. Finn wasn’t in any of the early drafts.
5. DROWNED comes from me spending my summers on the Jersey Shore. I’ve watched many a tide come in and take away precious things with it. Luckily, no people. But I’ve always been awed by the enormous power of the ocean.
6. While writing DROWNED, I had more than one nightmare about drowning.
7. In the book it says that Tiam was named for Tiamat, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of the ocean. She is also referred to as the “chaos monster” and it is her body that formed all things. Coe was named after the fish Corvina.
8. I wore a sock on my hand and did a bunch of activities with one hand to see if they were possible, and how much harder they would be. Originally it was Coe’s left hand that was missing. But then I accidentally wrote that she was missing her right hand on the art sheet, so they designed the book with her missing her right hand. Then I had to go back and change it in the manuscript.
9. There is a very detailed backstory to each of the characters on the island—I put it all together as I was writing the book. I could probably write a prequel with all the info I have. Just call me George Lucas.
10. Coe is obsessed with fairy tales, with romantic heroes and true love and things other people don’t care about, because a fairy tale book is the only surviving book in the land, and she is the only one who can read. I wanted to make her environment the complete antithesis of a fairy tale. Despite all the horrors she’s witnessed, she still maintains a wide-eyed, hopeful innocence and a belief in the happily ever after. Will she get it? I’m not saying . . . yet.