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I bought this book having no idea what to expect. The cover art is bland, the title is generic (as well as somewhat childish sounding), but this turned out to be one of the biggest examples of "don't judge a book by its cover" I've ever experienced firsthand.
For one, the content is a bit harsh for a book with "mermaid's quest" in its title. Some mild swear words are dropped, and a few characters - including a child - die. But let me back up a bit.
The story is about a clumsy, somewhat lacking in self-esteem, ten-year-old girl who lives in New Orleans with her single mother. Samantha lives a rather ordinary life until a supernatural threat shows up, and her mother is hospitalized in a coma. Samantha is sent to live with her father, only to witness even more supernatural phenomena show up and start endangering everyone. A friend of Sam's father breaks the news that Samantha is actually the daughter of a ruler of a world named Aerynon, and she is prophecized to save it - specifically at the age of ten. Poor kid. Having witnessed all sorts of craziness around her, and already caught between a mother in a coma and a father she dislikes, she isn't too eager to accept her new position. Even so, she presses on anyway and enters the world of Aerynon.
The book moves at a fast pace. I mean almost James Patterson fast. Chapters are 4 pages on average! Despite that, there's a good amount of character detail, and the reader is allowed to empathize with Samantha's plight. We see Samantha's thoughts all throughout, and some of them ring very true, such as her guilt at how her last words to her mother were in an angry tone. We also get to watch Samantha gradually adjust to the bizarre parallel world of Aerynon and learn what's going on.Read more ›
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