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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

Hi there!
You’ve stumbled across the site built for readers with a variety of tastes called Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. Hopefully…that was your intent. If so, yay! Thanks for stopping in! If not, nice to meet you and hopefully you’ll find something of interest anyway.

So tomorrow…is….THANKSGIVING DAY.
Did this sneak up on anyone else, or just me?
Really….I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, 2011 has flown by at whirlwind speeds as a whole, though somehow, some way it had its stalling moments too. Go figure. Anywho, hopefully you’re all ready to stuff the turkey and yourselves tomorrow with your family and friends. Have an extra piece of turkey for me, okay? I give you FULL permission. ^_^ In the mean time…

To help satiate your reading appetite, I’d like to present you with a literary hors d'oeuvre. How is it to be considered an appetizer? Ah well you see, this is but book 1 in a new(ish) Young Adult series featuring a mythical creature that has been rising from the depths of the deep blue sea on more than one occasion recently. Said to quite possibly be the new “it” creature of the moment, I’d say it’s high tide…I mean high time that I delved into the bottomless lipid pool of mermaid lore swimming about, and this my friends is a great place to start. Ready for today’s feature? Here we go. The book of choice for today is…

Marina’s Tales, Book 1:

From the author’s site…
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.

Let’s see, if I had to put this in a nutshell I’d say….take one dash Twilight, add a tablespoon of “under the sea” magic, and shake violently still you achieve a color of serene sea blue. That’s what this book brings to readers. Now, I shall explain the compact description I just created in order to appease the gods of curiosity…because let’s face it, if I stopped there…A) it just wouldn’t be me; and B) some would probably be instantly attracted while others instantly turned off to reading this selection without giving it a fair shake. Ready set….explaining time!

I’m going to take it apart piece by piece and hopefully put it back together better than the king’s horsemen did with Humpty Dumpty. I referenced Twilight…for the romance and a few of the underlying storylines. Yes, there is a supernatural creature, in this case mermaids. Yes, one is in love with a human (or rather several are, but that I’ll let you discover on your own) which for anyone that has seen a Disney movie featuring the life and times of one precocious mermaid, you’ll know is forbidden. Do you see where I’m going with this? These are the areas that brought this highly publicized series to mind and you know what? I don’t fault the book for it. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of that particular series (or maybe not), but the elements that I saw echoes of were fine by me. One is not a mirror image of the other and the fact that it can call up similarities between the two and STILL stand on its own two feet (or, umm, tail?) is a plus in my book….perhaps it will be in yours too.

Second…that dash of “under the sea” magic I referred too. Of course, that has to do with the paranormal creature chosen to feature in this story…mermaids. Honestly speaking, besides “The Little Mermaid” (actual Disney storybook version), I’ve never read another mermaid story. Now that means I don’t have much to compare it to lore wise but you see, I’m a gatherer of information and lore not a strict “you-must-keep-them-all-the-same-historically” dictator (no offense to those that fall into that category, to each their own!). I understand that a book is simply that…a book (fiction, mind you) and creative licensing is all a part of the game. Personally, I don’t care if the events are historically accurate or follow the most widely accepted views, I WANT A GOOD STORY; pure and simple. If it’s good (or sounds good), I’ll read it…case closed and reference books shut (unless I’m curious about something and research it later….). This book hit all the right notes and even some I wouldn’t have guessed when creating Lorelei and her sisters (including the scary one that attacks….uh, never mind…) “family” and watery home.

Third aspect I mentioned three paragraphs ago now (hey, you know how I get sometimes…this is nothing new… ^_^)…the violent shaking to reach the eventual serene blue sea. That my friend is referring to the action which there is quite a lot of. From riding the waves to out witting jealous girls at their own game, Marina learns about life, love and family. Being uprooted from her globe trotting life with her father and plopped into Aptos, California with her dear old Aunt Abby and Cousin Cruz…certainly unsettling. Being forced to attend the local high school when you’ve been home schooled by the best all of your life….disturbing for sure. A mother you’ve never known, a father that buys you off every time you mention her, a past that is getting murkier by the minute, and multiple attempts on your life….yeah, I’d say that about explains the “violent shaking” there, don’t you? The “serene blue” comes in at the end of the book when things are all smooth sailing…well, sort of; how else do you suppose you’d be tempted into reading the next installment? There always has to be a hook (ooh, bad choice of words) to draw you back in and while this one is more passive (as in future events that are yet to be decided…dun dun dunnnnnn), it serves the story and its characters well. Speaking of characters….

Marina really came to life on the page and I genuinely enjoyed getting to know her character. She’s not your typical teenage girl getting all swept up in popularity contests, “who’s the fairest of them all” concerns and lavish things (though she does have those things thanks to Aunt Evie …who’s not really her aunt, but that’s a story for another day). She has heart and a desire to follow it. She takes the path less traveled and does what she deems as right not because it’s what everyone is doing but because that’s how things should be. She treats those around her with respect and courtesy unless of course they need a good dose of reality of which she’ll happily oblige. Even before we discover shades of blue in her past, it’s easy to see why she becomes fast friends with Megan (quiet and artistically gifted), understands her Cousin Cruz (a fashion designer in the making), and snags the attention of one surfing Adonis named Ethan (~insert wolf whistle here~ …seriously, there is more than looks to this guy as we soon find out). She’s true to herself (once she gets past the splash from her past) and exudes confidence despite her many examples of klutziness executed in perfect form (yeah, been there, tripped over that…) which spells true beauty both inside and out.

The cast of characters surrounding her are varied in their likes and dislikes and might I say that the stereotypical mold is no where to be found when it comes to their true colors, a fact I found refreshing. The descriptions of both land and sea take you places you may never have been but will vividly see right before your eyes. Travel the coastal road and gaze down at the beach (and surfers...hehe) below. Stand on the beach and watch the wave’s crash on the shore. Cut through the water at astounding speeds and surface in the great blue beyond with only the stars to light the sky above. It’s a verbal picture waiting to be painted on the canvas of your mind….so what are you waiting for? Grab a “paintbrush” and get to work!

In summary, if you couldn’t tell…I really enjoyed this book and am eagerly anticipating my upcoming read of book 2 (The Moon and the Tide)…as well as book 3 (The Fate of the Muse). Now if I can only get this darn “make-more-reading-time-for-me-now” formula right, I’ll totally be set. *kicks alchemy set___small explosion…O_O* Recommended reading for Young Adult fans of all ages. Any “questionable” scenes are demure enough while still packing an emotional punch…and the language is kept clean.

This book as well as its follow ups is available now at many of your favorite online book retailers so feel free to scurry off and find a copy after you finish reading my close. ^_^  Ebook for review courtesy of author Derrolyn Anderson. (THANKS!) For more information about this series as well as her other published works and works in progress, be sure to visit her official website.

Until next time….happy pre-Thanksgiving to you…and happy reading!


Dorothy Dreyer said...

Great review. Those covers are gorgeous!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

....Petty Witter said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

A great indepth review, it tells me everything I need to know. Unlike Dorothy though I'm not too keen on the covers.

Tribute Books said...

Thanks for your review - this looks like a great one.

Plus I always love the Twilight images you find because I've never seen them before :)

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