The Wellermans' Tale

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
330 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Wellermans' Tale by Samson's Sister is a YA fantasy following siblings Barron and Adeline Wellerman, who are convinced there is truth behind the stories of Davy Jones, his ability to make the impossible happen, and the tattoos that seal his deals. The pair manipulates passage onto a ship, finding themselves surrounded by a crew with identical tattoos. Barron and Adeline brave the journey, wary of ghostly apparitions and intent on their ultimate destination, the Flying Dutchman. Deeper secrets hidden among the crew and their captain cast doubt on Barron and Adeline's full assessment of the circumstances. When it turns out that Davy Jones might not even be the worst thing they could face, the Wellerman siblings are thrust into a world where few come out alive, and nobody is ever the same.

“While up aloft in storm, from her his absence mourn, and firmly pray, arrive the day, he’s never more to roam.” I was in love with The Wellermans' Tale before Samson's Sister gave us a literal siren song, but I married into the series the second it rang in Adeline's ears. Samson's Sister does an excellent job of intermingling folklore, fantasy, and the objectives of the characters. The world-building is spectacular, from the Billy O’Tea with its golden oak wood and shimmering purple sails, and Shell’s Cove, with its towering cliffs and bustling docks, to the actual appearance of the Flying Dutchman and its ghostly crew. The ship's sails flaring offers both the atmosphere and the emotion of each scene. The character arcs run the gamut and press far beyond just the Wellermans. There's one scene with an insane twist that throws all notions of trust into the ocean, and a moment of betrayal that I absolutely did not see coming. Overall, this is a fantastic work, a solid entry into what promises to be a great series, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. In the words of Barron, “This is not how our story ends.” Very highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Wellermans' Tale is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres. It is intended for young adult readers to enjoy and was penned under the name of Samson's Sister, with illustrations provided by Samson's Girlfriend. This immersive and interesting novel delves into a world plagued by constant storms and whispers of Davy Jones, a mythical figure with control over the seas. Amidst these rumors, two siblings from the Wellerman Trading Company seek to harness Jones's power, leading them to coerce a young captain into a perilous journey to find him. However, aboard the captain's ship, the Billy O'Tea, dark secrets and supernatural forces threaten to tear the crew apart. As the narrative unfolds, the ancient Leviathan, imprisoned in Davy Jones's locker, breaks free, unleashing chaos upon the seas.

Samson's Sister has much to offer in this fascinating work that really amps up the action and atmosphere to give readers a cinematic and engaging adventure tale. The story layers in elements of myth and supernatural horror on top of the fantasy action, keeping readers on the edge of their seats with clever, descriptive lexis that brings to life many atmospheric settings that also perfectly match the emotional mood of the scenes unfolding. I loved the characters and the arc that they travel through as the challenges of seafaring life and nefarious curses try to get the better of them. There were also a lot of well-timed suspenseful plot twists that felt purposeful and never gimmicky, leaving you with a truly satisfied feeling at the end of the adventure. Overall, The Wellermans' Tale is a gripping maritime adventure that explores themes of greed, ambition, and the consequences of meddling with otherworldly powers, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to fans of YA fantasy everywhere.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Samson's Sister presents The Wellermans' Tale, a story about power, adventure, and the legend of Davy Jones. The Wellerman siblings, Barron and Adeline, discover the truth behind Davy Jones's mysterious tattoos and vow to seek him out to grant their wishes. Finding a captain who they suspect bears Davy Jones's mark and is under significant financial strain, the siblings buy their way onto his ship with the promise of supplies. Once they meet the crew, who also have the same tattoos, they prepare to stay out of sight of ghost ships and make their way to the Flying Dutchman. But the crew and their captain carry secrets much deeper than Barron and Adeline can guess, and Davy Jones has a problem of his own while searching the sea, looking for a ship worthy enough to fight.

Samson's Sister captures readers' interest and draws them through the ocean and into a thrilling conclusion. The beautiful descriptions by illustrator Samson's Girlfriend fully encompass the sights and sounds of the setting and the sketch art gives the reader a clearer view of the characters. I couldn't put this book down. Many fantasy novels can be hit or miss, but the author captures the most important parts of the characters' backstories and combines them with a spell-binding world. Open your mind to this exciting retelling of Davy Jones, his locker, and the creatures of the deep that plague him. Revenge is costly, and many of the characters learn that lesson the hard way. The Wellermans' Tale will satisfy your hunger for adventure, mystery, and suspense and reveals just enough to keep you in the action, readying yourself to fight the infamous Leviathan.

Emma Megan

The Wellermans' Tale by Samson's Sister is a must-read novel that follows two wealthy siblings, Adeline and Barron Wellerman, on a mission of revenge against their own father. Barron owns a journal that says Davy Jones is on the Flying Dutchman. They want to find him. Davy Jones is known for the power he wields over the seven seas. He is neither man nor god and rules the locker, the final resting place for the souls lost at sea. Those indebted to him have a mark on their arm. One day, Adeline and Barron meet a young man with a tattoo. The siblings know instantly that he is the only one who can help them find Davy Jones. Thus, they make a deal with him, not knowing that a powerful monster is free after a thousand years of imprisonment in Jones's locker or that the ship they will be on is the Billy O'Tea, an enchanted vessel haunted by shadows and dangerous secrets.

The Wellermans' Tale is a fascinating pirate tale that deserves the highest rating. It is a truly enchanting work of storytelling, with nuanced, diverse characters and a suspenseful atmosphere that leaves readers craving more. It's a debut novel, but it convinced me I would read anything Samson's Sister writes. This gripping tale will surely delight and surprise fans of fantasy, mystery, dragons, ghost pirates, sirens, ghost ships, and great battles. Mesmerizing and mysterious in equal turns, The Wellermans' Tale also contains beautiful illustrations by Samson's Girlfriend of the characters. It is one of the most exceptionally crafted young adult fantasy debuts I've read in a long time.

Demetria Head

In The Wellermans' Tale by Samson's Sister, readers are swept into a tumultuous world where the seven seas churn with constant storms, leaving ships wrecked and fish elusive. Amidst the whispers of sailors blaming Davy Jones for the chaos, two wealthy siblings, heirs to the Wellerman Trading Company, seek to harness his power. To achieve their goal, they enlist the help of a young captain and embark on a perilous journey to find Jones's legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman. However, aboard the young captain's ship, the Billy O’Tea, shadows come to life, and secrets threaten to tear the small crew apart. As the siblings and their crew venture closer to Davy Jones, they uncover a deeper mystery: the awakening of Leviathan, a monstrous force imprisoned in Jones's locker for a millennium.

What makes The Wellermans' Tale truly shine is its skillful blend of elements that are sure to resonate with readers of YA fantasy. The dynamic characters, from the ambitious siblings to the enigmatic captain and the diverse crew, are crafted with depth and nuance, each with their own motivations and secrets. This creates a rich tapestry of relationships and conflicts that drive the narrative forward with intensity and intrigue. Moreover, the world-building is exceptionally vivid, painting a captivating picture of a realm where the ordinary rules of reality are bent by the whims of supernatural forces. From the storm-tossed seas to the eerie depths of Davy Jones's locker, every setting is imbued with a sense of wonder and danger that draws readers deeper into the story. With its blend of heart-pounding action, intricate plotting, and thought-provoking themes, this story will linger in the imagination long after the final page is turned, making it a must-read for fans of YA fantasy seeking an exhilarating escape into a world of magic and mystery.