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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mystic Tides

Mystic TidesMystic Tides by C.J. Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for this review.

I've always been fascinated with mermaid stories. Most people now know the Hans Christian Andersen story The Little Mermaid, or, more precisely, the Disney version of that story. The premise of the book is that the Hans Christian Andersen story was true, and that mermaids exist. The story starts out with Aden in Alaska. He has just turned 17, and is given a necklace with a mysterious moonstone as a birthday present. He's moving to Florida, to be with his aunt and his cousin. There are quite a few people who are interested in him, and have been watching him for some time. While in Florida, he discovers some unusual powers. He also meets Kat and Kailani, twin sisters with something special. I don't want to say too much more, because of spoilers.

I thought it gave a good backstory on mermaids, and why they were the way they were. Full disclosure: I am the author of Operation Mermaid: The Project Kraken Incident, another novel about mermaids, so I know how important the backstory can be. She doesn't try to overwhelm everyone with the backstory all at once, but reveals it piece by piece as needed. I like how Aden's story (1st person) and the mermaid story (3rd person) are alternated, with Aden's story in regular type, and the mermaid story in italics. This made it easier to follow. I've read other books that don't do this, and it can be easy to get lost. I couldn't help think about Disney's version, though. In one scene, Aden picks up a crab, and part of me thought the crab would start singing "Under the Sea." In another, Aden plays his guitar and sings to Kailani. I thought for sure the song would have been "Part of Your World," which would be an ironic commentary on their situation. (Read the book to find out why.) I also felt a little bit of the Australian TV series H20: Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids. Both of these series deal with mermaids in high school. The end of the book suggests that this is the first of a series. It's like Marty McFly getting the Western Union letter that Doc Brown is alive and well in 1885. The series aspect also explains all of the exposition in this book, to avoid a lot of this later. All in all, a good book. I look forward to reading book 2.

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