The Pearl Hunter – Miya T. Beck

While twin sisters Kai and Kishi do everything together, they could not be more different. Kishi is the “golden child” to Kai’s “trouble-maker.” As the only children in a pearl diving family, the sisters are honored to continue their family’s tradition of pearl diving and selling pearls to noble houses in the Heiwadai Empire. When Kishi and Kai enter into a pearl diving contest, Kishi is killed by the legendary Ghost Whale and Kai goes on a quest to bring her sister back from the dead. Kai’s amazing journey leads her to the gods who she bargains with to steal a magical pearl in order to win back Kishi’s soul.

I, Laura, really loved this book. The family dynamics between the sisters and their parents, and the complicated love that Kai has for Kishi was what gave this book so much heart. I appreciated the journey of self discovery that Kai goes on as well. Learning that she doesn’t have to be perfect and to accept herself as a wonderful, talented, and unique person in her own right. 

The interactions with the gods and the journey gave this book a beautiful and mystic feel and I loved the imagery throughout the book. I was often able to picture myself in the scenes. I did have a little trouble deciding the right age audience for this book as the material is quite heavy, but the writing felt accessible to younger readers. I also had some trouble with the pacing of the book, but it starts to become steadier as you go along.

Would highly recommend this book to other readers, especially young girls/women!

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Children’s Books for the ARC of The Pearl Hunter by Miya T. Beck!

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