Call of the Sea, the debut novel from Amanda Labonté, has hit #1 simultaneously on both the Amazon.ca and Amazon UK free charts in the 'Coming of Age Fantasy' category. The novel hit Bestseller status at 7:36PM Newfoundland Standard time on April 7, 2021, peaking at #65 on the overall Amazon.ca charts and #3 on the Amazon dot com charts.
Labonté has enjoyed repeated and continued success since the debut of the novel in November 2015, including the release of two sequels: Drawn to the Tides and Return to the Depths. Despite positive critical reviews and recognition for its place as a high-water mark for Newfoundland genre fiction, the novel had yet to officially reach bestseller status. The publisher hopes that this renewed interest and attention will lead to more people appreciating and loving the depth, nuance, and joy present in Labonté's first novel, and in all her subsequent novels.
Amanda Labonté lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she gets much of the inspiration for the characters and places about which she writes. Though she knew she wanted to be a writer since the eighth grade, it was many years before she finally walked into a creative writing class and found a new home.
"[Call of the Sea is] an intriguing story about family, secrets, and doing what needs to be done. I was drawn in by the familiar small-town setting and likeable characters, and held fast by the underlying mythology." -- author Ali House.
"Loved this book and can't wait for the next one," Award-winning author Helen C. Escott.
"This is a fantastic YA novel set in rural Newfoundland and centered around a pretty large family and the connection the youngest twin brothers seem to have to the sea," -- Award-winning author Lisa M Daly.
“When I first read Amanda’s fiction, I was struck by how well she had interwoven timeless-seeming folklore and legend into thoroughly modern settings. Her protagonist is Alex who comes under suspicion when his twin brother disappears over the side of their fishing boat. His search for his brother, combined with his need to clear his name, sees him plunge into a world of magic and mermen lore.” — Paul Butler, critically acclaimed author of 1892 and The Widow’s Fire
“Set in a seaside Newfoundland village, this book captures the rhythms of daily life in this small town and the role of family and community… Readers who succumb to the lure of mermaid lore will be drawn to this tale.” — Lisa Doucet, Atlantic Books Today
“Call of the Sea is a vividly imagined novel of folk lore and legends smoothly mixed with realistic, colourful characters of an East Coast village. Amanda Labonte’s paranormal coming of age story effortlessly lifts you along with Alex’s journey to the brink of suspended disbelief…” -- BR Myers, author of Asp of Ascension and Girl on the Run.
“Call of the Sea seamlessly weaves together the hardships and humour of rural Newfoundland life with a fantastical storyline that will leave you wanting more. This book will not disappoint,”
— Lauralana Dunne, author of Ashes.
“As a fellow Newfoundlander, this was the YA Fantasy I didn’t know I was waiting for. I can’t wait to share this series with my children!” — JRH Lawless, author of Always Greener.
Labonté has continued her work breaking down barriers in genre fiction with her Supernatural Causes series and, most recently, the steampunk series The Daughters of Aether.
Engen Books would like to congratulate Labonté on this achievement, and thank her fans and peers who helps make this possible.