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review 2017-05-12 09:46
Cute YA Fantasy
Ink: A Mermaid Romance: A Falling in Deep Collection Novella - Melanie Karsak

Like many YA stories, this started out with slightly amateurish sentence structure and concepts that don't fit into my Fantasy world view, like the idea of mermaids transforming into human form temporarily, plus too much information dumping in the first chapter. Despite all that, I found myself interested in the story and read on.


It was actually a rather interesting story. Whatever else I might say, I did enjoy reading it. I liked the main character, Ink, and the balance she fund between being an independent personality and having the foresight to think about how her actions would affect her people.


I liked the way the factions were set up and the realism of mer foibles when living among humans.


The drama towards the end could have been more drawn out with suspense and a couple more things going wrong, but overall it was a satisfying conclusion. What it lacks in details and other qualities of great storytelling, it makes up for in good, strong characters and storyline.

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review 2017-01-04 11:40
Review: Fear the Drowning Deep
Fear the Drowning Deep - Sarah Marsh

I received a copy from Edelweiss


I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this one, it was a bit of coverlust more than anything about it that caught my attention and I snagged it as soon as I saw it on Edelweiss as a read it now. I’d forgotten what it was about by the time I finally got around to read it. Pleasantly surprised to find how unique this novel was and how much I enjoyed and how unexpected the plot was. It’s a turn of the century historical set in the Isle of Man.


The main character lives in small island village steeped mythology regarding the sea and the creatures within and the strange fairy folk (think more traditional type fairies, Little Folk, mysterious and hardly ever seen but a somewhat worrying presence).


Bridey, the main character, just wants to escape from the island and go experience London and the mainland. She has a close tightknit family of a number of siblings, a couple of best friends, though her male friend Lugh’s attention seem to be changing slightly towards her. The town even has a creepy old lady who lives, Morag, alone with a mysterious past known as the local witch.


Bridey is haunted by the mysterious death of her grandfather. She was there when it happened, the official cause is drowning, but she knows there’s more to it. Problem is no one believes her. Not helped when Bridey is looking for work and her mother sends her to go apprentice to Morag. Then girls start disappearing and turning up dead.


Along with the arrival of a strange boy washed up on the beach. The boy has horrible wounds and no memory of who he is. Bridey takes him home to help nurse him back to health, as he has no name, she names him Fynn.


Beautifully written, almost lyrical, and completely captivating, the mythology of the sea beasts and magic of the isle is woven in and it’s absolutely fascinating. The cast of characters is pretty incredible, from the stubborn townsfolk who can be at once giving and incredibly small minded, and of course there’s much more to local witch Morag than anyone thought to look at.


And the slow build of trust and friendship between Bridey and Fynn is very well done and believable. It’s not insta-love, it takes time and work. Coupled with the mystery of the disappearing girls it all mixes together and works incredibly well. It’s not just focused on Bridey and Fynn, I really liked the inclusion of Bridey’s family and her friends and how they all cope differently with the events in the novel as they unfold.


The plot has a few surprising twists and turns and it’s impossible to guess, and the end really threw me and was completely unexpected. Some of the ending was a little hard to follow, I had to go back and read some of the scenes twice to make sure I was following the plot correctly, but the initial twist at the end was still a big surprise.


All in all a fantastic read and definitely an author I look forward to reading more of.

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review 2016-12-20 16:10
Updrift - Errin Stevens


Updrift wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was still an enjoyable read. I guess I was expecting a little more action and fantasy in this book, and while it did ultimately deliver on both of these, it did take quite some time to really do so. BUT where these elements were lacking in the first half or so of the story, there was really strong character and relationship development. In my opinion this was probably the strongest element in this story. So while it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I still enjoyed the journey to get to the parts I was anticipating. I think there was a lot of exploration into coming of age, falling in love, being a friend, a daughter, a mother, an aunt, basically the whole family dynamic in general. Stevens develops and nurtures each relationship with a lot of time and care, and I appreciate that.






Once we got more into the fantasy elements of the story, I found it quite interesting. I really liked that the men (Sirens) were the feature here. I feel like so often with "mermaids" we are getting the female take on them, so it was nice to see Stevens' version with the Sirens taking the lead.






I liked the idea of them as a generally peaceful and devoted race. The fact that they mate for life was a sweet touch. I really enjoyed seeing a little of their home in the sea and their customs. Although I feel like there is a lot that could still be done with that aspect of the story. I had really high hopes for the world building here, but I feel as if there could have been more there. I would really love to see this world be expanded upon in the next book. I think that would take these books to a whole new level. All in all I enjoyed this book. I am looking forward to seeing what the next book, Breakwater holds in store!

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review 2016-12-09 20:55
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
  1. I liked the book so much that as soon as I finished reading it I went back and read it again, and took more time to examine all the art, which is rewarding in that Hatke includes images from his other books. And since I’ve loved every one of this books….But this one got me to thinking. Julia lives in an adorable Queen Anne with a big front porch, and a fireplace, and built-in bookshelves and a big overstuffed comfy chair. It’s an immediately charming house, the big comfy chair by the fireplace is something that most people would love to have. So why is it no one builds houses like this? And why isn’t anyone selling chairs like this?
  2. Library copy
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review 2016-10-30 12:08
Book Review of Mermother: An Account of What Happened in the Sea by Elizabeth Jane Wolfe
Mermother: An Account of What Happened in the Sea by Elizabeth Jane Wolfe (2013-03-27) - Elizabeth Jane Wolfe

A young woman explores the ancient mysteries of the sea in an unforgettable adventure of friendship and family. Escaping from an abusive past, she finds solace in an underwater world full of beauty, wealth, and power. Discover how her life is transformed as she struggles to find true love in a world that forbids it. This novel has been published as a fundraiser for the International Ocean Institute.


Review 3*


I received a complimentary print copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review in 2013. Unfortunately, due to my rather large reading list, I haven't been able to read it until recently.


This is an intriguing fictional novella. I enjoyed it.


Briony is an intriguing character. I really wanted to like her, but found her to be a little selfish and immature at times to say she's twenty-five years old. After an accident at sea (or was it?) she wakes up in a tide pool, where she finds herself embarking on an amazing adventure. I struggled to understand why she didn't panic at waking in a strange place. My first thought was "Was she drugged?". My second thought was "Who would lie content in a tide pool for hours/days on end without turning into a wrinkly prune?". There she meets Sylvie, a young mermaid and her life will never be the same again.


I started to read this story and quickly became intrigued with the storyline, which was completely different to a typical romance, which is what I was expecting.


I have always been fascinated by the idea of merpeople ever since watching a stop animation tale about The Little Mermaid at school. However, the mermaids in this story are not exactly all goodness and light. They are mostly all females who use their talents to lure ships onto rocks to wreck them and to gain more riches. I did say they were mostly female, but there is one male called Trayo, who is considered a "mistake" by the female mers. I would have liked to have seen more of Trayo, as I think he must be terribly lonely. He protects the females that have the potential to be "mermothers". In other words, human women who, for whatever reason (be it accidental or on purpose) find themselves living in the sea like the mers due to a change in their DNA. This is where I had trouble suspending my disbelief. Nevertheless, I was intrigued and kept reading.


I love the romance angle of this story, where Briony meets Damien and they fall in love. However, I was not so happy with the way the author had the mers forcing Briony to find someone to procreate with in order to increase the mer numbers. I can understand the biological imperative to have babies (I am a female after all), but just because you can't yourself carry a child shouldn't mean that you can force others to do so. I get their mentality, but doesn't mean I liked it. I was also slightly disappointed with the ending, so I do not think I will be continuing this series. Unfortunately, this book was not exactly my cup of tea even though I enjoyed it. Other readers may have a different opinion, so I will leave it up to you to decide for yourselves.


Elizabeth Jane Wolfe has written an intriguing tale that kept me entertained. I enjoyed her fast paced writing style and it flowed wonderfully. This is her debut novella.


There are no scenes of a sensual nature although it's intimated so teens could read it with no problem. I recommend this book to readers who love literary fiction/fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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