Book Review: The Size of the World by Ivana Skye

There are seven Seas, and Theia will cross them all. There is the Darkness beyond the Seventh Sea, and Theia will reach it.
But, in the Second Land, there is also Tellus. And soon Tellus is not only offering her skills as a guide to Theia, but following her out of her city … and kissing her.
Now this journey belongs to both of them. And soon they may belong to each other.

I was pitched this book as a novella, so when it came to me looking like a thick novel-length book I was a bit surprised. But then when you look inside you see that the pages are more flash fiction. And they read like poetry. Prose poetry, perhaps.

There is a lack of detail that makes you continually curious. It leaves you wanting more and lets your imagination fill in the purposeful blanks. I’m still not entirely sure what I just read, though it feels like an allegory–something with deeper meaning. I can’t really tell you how to interpret something like this, because I’m not an authority on anything it covers. My best guess is that it is an expansion on “I would cross the seven seas for you” but instead of “for” it’s “with”? Maybe it’s commentary on something else. Or nothing at all (in which case I would be bothered).

It starts with a girl who wants to cross the seven seas. And she meets another girl along the way and they fall in love. And some people think she is the Messiah. And the concept of “names” is very prevalent: the girl Theia falls in love with (Tellus) has the most names. Like Gandalf in LOTR, she has more than one, yet names have an oral magic to them. Some names she only tells to certain people. That concept was very interesting.

Ivana Skye is a linguist, which is pretty cool and it made the whole book make sense. The things she does with language and the lack thereof–the restraint of telling–is very beautiful.

The formatting and layout in the book is very pretty as well–there are alien-like gears decorating the pages like on the cover. Speaking of alien-like, I couldn’t tell if this was really fantasy or science fiction. It seemed like we were on another planets. Maybe the gears were affecting me. But it was interesting how you could interpret the story both ways–the seas could be the space and stars between planets; the ships they use as space ships. I don’t know if I’m taking too many liberties here, but that’s just where my mind went sometimes. Like Disney’s Treasure Planet.

There is a heavy dose of romance in the book, so if you don’t like that (which I normally don’t) this book isn’t for you. Yet it always comes off as more poetic than cheesy. Sex scenes are not explicit, just implied.

A very easy, quick read. Recommended for teens and up. Also recommended to librarians to build their LGBTQIA and Indie collections.

View on Goodreads.

Buy on Amazon.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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