March 6, 2012

Title:  Tangled Tides

Series:  The Sea Monster Memoirs #1

Author: Karen Amanda Hooper

Published: November 2011

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

Check out the great trailer for this book!!

Ana will put Tangled Tides on her second shelf!

My Review:  It was the short story The Qualm Before the Storm (part of the In His Eyes Anthology – see my review here) that led me to this book and this author.  That small taste of this unique world piqued my curiosity enough that I downloaded Tangled Tides…and it did not disappoint!  This story captured my imagination immediately.  Yara is turned into a mermaid in the very first chapter and her life takes off down this most unusual road…even thought she has no interest in living this new life.

Ultimately, this is a story about coming home.  It explores both returning to the place you physically call home and also finding that soul mate who makes the whole world feel like home.  And it examines the different paths that people choose to take to get there – some through sacrifice, some through more sinister means.

This story is written from three different points of view and, even though that may seem like it could confuse things, it actually makes the story more well-rounded.  Seeing and understanding situations from the perspectives of different characters puts the reader right in the action.  You feel for every character, you want everyone to get their way!

The world that Ms. Hooper creates and the imagery throughout this book is wonderful.  I could clearly picture these mermen, mermaids, selkies and sirens.  I was captivated by the unique abilities that each possessed and how they interacted with each other.  The color rankings, the ceremonies and the relationships between the characters all served to enhance the story and keep my imagination buzzing.  Of course, the twist and turns kept me turning the pages quickly.

Yara was easy to like.  She was a no-nonsense girl who didn’t necessarily believe everything she heard and was strong enough to fight for what she believed.  And I loved the fact that she kept her wits about her even as her world turned upside down.  Treygan was noble – someone who would do anything to save his people even if it was at his own peril…a true hero.  Rownan was the “baddie” that I couldn’t possibly hate.  He was well-rounded and I could see his soul was good.  The secondary characters were fabulous as well…each with their own strengths and weaknesses and very specific reasons to exist.  They provided humor when the story needed it and thoughtful advice for the main characters when it was necessary.  Every character played a role and didn’t get forgotten by the author, which so often happens with secondary characters.

Now, I must admit that I was a bit perplexed by the slang language that crept up a few times and a rather unusual use of “C-weed” but, ultimately, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this wonderful story.  I can’t wait to see what happens next in this world and what’s in store for these great characters.

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