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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Kiss That Changed Me

As two brothers reach the final phase of their plan to seize the stolen powers of a God made flesh, the Psirens lay claim to the debris of the Occulta Mirum. With this, a race against the rising blood moon begins.
As the seconds tick away, Callie and Orion must journey to the farthest corners of the earth, learning to balance devotion and duty whilst reuniting the segregated Kindred of the Circle of Eight. If this is not enough the function of the conduit is still unknown, meaning Callie and Orion must learn democratic flare in multicultural waters to convince others to risk their lives as well. With their foretold future together in the balance, their unity has never been so crucial and one’s willingness to sacrifice the other for the greater good never more necessary.
Can the journey of an immortal lifetime hold answers to salvation, or will it only bring the mer to their final resting place as their race is threatened with extinction?
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Friday, September 9, 2016

The American Girl

The American GirlThe American Girl by Kate Horsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

This book is the story of Quinn Perkins, an American exchange student living in France in 2015. One night, she is found by some German tourists stumbling around outside after being hit by a car. She winds up in the hospital. Video of the accident goes viral on the Internet, drawing the attention of a TV reporter, Molly Swift. As the investigation unfolds, it is discovered that Quinn's host family has disappeared, with no explanation. Suspicion falls on Quinn, that she may be responsible for this. Is Quinn a victim or a villain? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?

I don't want to give away too much, because of spoilers. It was an intriguing novel. The point of view shifts back and forth between Quinn and Molly. Early on, Molly is taken as Quinn's relative, which gives her more access to the story. Quinn's story is told in flashbacks, with a video log and her own blog. This works to add to the suspense, to keep you guessing. There are some details to keep this going. For example, Molly goes out to the house to find a creepy old caretaker out there. Part of me thought that this is how Scooby-Doo cartoons usually started. "I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!" But that was a minor distraction. All in all, this was a good book.

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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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