Canadian book blogger based out of the Ottawa-Gatineau area. I review Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy books with the occasional Young Adult thrown into the mix. I have a weakness for all things werewolf.
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Smashwords book reviews by Rabid Reads
- Between The Land And The Sea
on Sep. 03, 2011
I always start reading an indie published novel with a bit of trepidation. An independently published book can either be very good or very bad. There's rarely a happy middle. I'm pleased to report that Between the Land and the Sea falls into the it-kicked-ass category! The story is overflowing with intrigue, budding romance and paranormal goodies. Also, the characters are well-developed and engaging. And finally, who doesn't love a good mermaid story!?
My favorite part of this book would have to be the story line. The pace is great. Derrolyn Anderson reveals just enough to keep the plot interesting without giving up too much and as a result, readers are left guessing until the end. There's also a few nice side stories that run parallel to the main one and they compliment each other well. Among them are the blooming romance between the two main characters, Cruz's growing fashion career and Marina's cryptic origins. Needless to say, there's never a dull moment! Having multiple plots can sometimes be dangerous because you run the risk of the story becoming too weighed down and confusing. Rest assured that that's not the case here. Derrolyn maintains a nice balance throughout this book.
Ethan is a mega hunk! I'm ashamed to admit that I was crushing pretty hardcore on him because he's only 18. Darn these Young Adult novels for making me feel like a perv! He has that sexy, doesn't-try-too-hard, surfer look going on. Ethan's hot but doesn't really seem to know it or at least he doesn't flaunt it. Plus he's a hard worker and is taking planning for his future quite seriously which is a rare trait to find in someone so young. Okay, I need to stop swooning over this guy! Moving on... Marina's story is quite fascinating as well. I enjoyed how she slowly discovers the truth of her past by bits and pieces. I couldn't help from speculating on the possibilities. It turns out that I was right but I still appreciated the journey. The only thing about Marina's personality that irked me a bit is that she's fiercely independent. She keeps everything to herself thinking that no one will understand but when she finally reveals all her friends are super sympathetic. Surprise, surprise!
As the book drew to a close I started to get a little worried that Derrolyn was going to leave me stuck with a killer cliff hanger. I was immensely relieved when I got to the last page and that wasn't the case. There's still some questions that are left unanswered which made me crave the next installment but overall I was satisfied. Between the Land and the Sea is one of the better mermaid books on the market and if book one is anything to go by, The Moon and the Tide is looking like a sweet read!
- The Moon And The Tide
on Sep. 24, 2011
After having thoroughly enjoyed Derrolyn Anderson's first installment in her Marina's Tales series; I was anxious to read The Moon and the Tide. Book 2 continues right where the first one left off but I wasn't as enthralled with the story this time around. The first and the final chapters were amazing while as the bulk of the middle felt more like filler and wasn't overly relevant to the progression of the plot line. The endless fashion talk and Marina's obsession with surfing quickly got on my nerves. The strong ending is what saved this book for me but even it didn't entirely make up for the 150+ pages of meaningless descriptions. Also, the mermaid lore that I adored so much in Between the Land and the Sea was next to non-existent this time around.
I enjoyed the turn that Marina and Ethan's relationship takes in The Moon and the Tide. These two are quite obviously infatuated with each other. Their love and understanding of one another other grows quite a bit in this second installment. They face new challenges and even though it was touch and go for a while; in the end their relationship is stronger as a result. I liked the underlying messages that Anderson manages to get across to readers. The first one being to not give up even when times are tough. Loving someone isn't always easy but standing by them and fighting for them pays off huge in the long run. I also approve of the way that Derrolyn addresses sex among teens. She doesn't ignore the fact that they have urges like everyone else but Anderson demonstrates how to be responsible by bringing up touchy subjects like birth control. Marina and Ethan don't end up going all the way and for that I was glad. Perhaps in the next installment seeing how they'll both soon be 18.
I didn't like Ethan as much as I did in Between the Land and the Sea. The traits that I originally admired in him seemed a bit over the top this time around. His possessiveness towards his girlfriend bordered on obsession. This couple eventually makes their way back to equal ground but for a while I was rooting for Marina to ditch Ethan. His protectiveness morphed from charming to controlling which turns me off to the extreme. As I mentioned earlier, I found the greater part of this novel to be fluff. I understand that Anderson was trying to develop her characters and improve her world building skills but I thought she got carried away. At times, it seemed like this story was primarily about fashion and surfing. To the best of my knowledge, this is a mermaid book and I expect the contents to reflect that fact. If I was interested in learning more about design or water sports there are plenty of non-fiction books out there to that effect.
This book takes a turn for the better towards the end. The pace picks up, mysteries are unveiled and amends are made. I trudged through most of this novel but towards the ending I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Why wasn't the whole thing like this!? Although The Moon and the Tide was a step down from its predecessor there's still plenty of goodies that'll keep readers entertained. Overall, The Moon and the Tide is a great story full of love, mermaids and intrigue along with a few valuable life lessons for teens. A great value for the price.