Kindle Edition, 261 pages.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Received from author for review.
Reviewed by: Liz
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.
Between the Land and Sea by Derrolyn Anderson is a captivating story about Marina, a privileged girl who is forced to move from San Francisco to Aptos, California to live with her Aunt Abby while her dad is away in Afghanistan. Marina has never been to school before – she’s moved around so much with her dad, she’s had to be privately tutored her whole life. But this year, much to Marina’s chagrin, she’s going to start school for the first time, and she’s absolutely dreading the move – she has to leave “Aunt” Evie (her rich fashionista neighbour who likes to spoil her) and her old life behind, to live with relatives she hasn’t seen in years. But soon after Marina arrives in Aptos, she starts to feel at home – she and her cousin actually have a lot in common, and a very cute boy named Ethan has taken an interest in her. However, when Marina discovers a real-life mermaid in the coast of the ocean, things start to change. Somehow, Marina is connected to the mermaids, and she feels herself pulled towards the secrets of the sea. She’s determined to find out what the mermaids are hiding, no matter how dangerous it is.
I really liked Between the Land and Sea - Marina was a very interesting character and I took to her quite quickly. She had lived quite a privileged life, being spoiled by Aunt Evie with designer clothes and accessories, but she wasn’t arrogant or annoying or whiny, and was very likeable. She was quite opinionated, and I liked that she voiced her views instead of just accepting what she was told all the time. I think the author captured Marina’s desperation to find out more from the mermaids very well – Marina was constantly plagued by strange dreams and visions about the sea, and though her friends couldn’t understand her obsession, I could really feel her need to know what was happening to her, and could connect with her because of that. The only complaint I have about her character is that I felt sometimes she spoke in an oddly sophisticated way that made it hard to believe she was a teen.
I also really liked the dynamic between Marina, her cousin Cruz and their friend Megan; I thought they were very funny together and made a great trio. I loved Cruz especially; like Marina, he was really into fashion, and was in his element whenever he was designing or looking clothes. He was quirky and fun, and also a great friend to Marina. Megan was another good friend to Marina; she was there for all the girl chat, and was someone Marina could confide in. One thing I appreciated about the story was the relationship between Marina and Ethan, the surfer Marina seemed to be running into at every corner. They actually got to know each other first before jumping into anything, and there was definitely a spark between them that I enjoyed reading about.
The story itself was an intriguing one – I was just as curious as Marina about the mermaids and wanted to find out what they knew that she didn’t! The ending, while not a cliffhanger, was definitely left open, and I’m looking forward to getting started on the next series – I still have a few questions I want answered!
Overall, Between the Land and the Sea was a very enjoyable read, and I loved exploring the mystical world of the mermaids. I’d definitely recommend this for people who enjoyed Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs or Forgive My Fins but Tera Lynn Childs.
* Spoilers for Between the Land and the Sea in the following review.
Release date: March 28th 2011.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Received from author for review.
Reviewed by: Liz
The Moon And The Tide is book # 2 in the Marina's Tales series.
Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.
A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?
The Moon and Tide was a great sequel to Between the Land and Sea, and I really enjoyed finding out more about Marina and the mermaids. The book picks up not long after the ending of Between the Land and Sea; Marina is in Norway, celebrating her father’s Nobel Prize achievement, and she’s missing Aptos (and her boyfriend Ethan) like crazy. But she is glad that her dad’s finally come clean and told her all about her mermaid heritage. When she arrives home, she thinks all the chaos of the last few months is over, but Marina discovers this is far from the truth – there’s a lot about the mermaids she still doesn’t know, and a new threat arises, putting Marina and her family in danger. With her relationships now under strain and her addiction to the sea worse than ever, Marina has to find a way of somehow balancing her life on land and her life in the sea.
I really enjoyed The Moon and the Tide; in this one, Marina was a lot less frightened of the sea and the mermaids, and refused to listen to anyone when they told her to stay away from them. I liked the way the author presented Marina’s love of the sea and surfing as an actual addiction – Marina knew that it was dangerous to be in the sea alone, or to go surfing at night, but part of her craved the water, and she literally couldn’t stand being away from it, even for a day. I liked how we got to see this side of her, because I think it really helped the reader understand the difficulty of Marina’s situation; she loved her family and Ethan so much and she knew she could never bear to be away from them, but she also needed the sea in her life and needed to swim and surf, and the two things conflicted because her friends thought the ocean was too dangerous for her. This caused her a lot of stress, because she couldn’t do either without upsetting someone along the way.
Another thing I liked about The Moon and Tide was the growing friendship between Marina and Shayla. Shayla was previously one of Marina’s “enemies” – she was the typical nasty girl at school who made fun of Marina and her cousin, Cruz. However, there was a lot more to Shayla than one would have first thought; she was actually quite a complex character, with a lot of her own issues that she didn’t know how to deal with. After Marina saved her life in book one, Shayla became a lot warmer towards her, and in this book we really got to see their friendship develop, which is something I really enjoyed reading about, because I loved learning more about Shayla and I liked seeing this nicer and kinder side to her.
Aunt Evie played a slightly bigger role in this book and wasn’t just the rich neighbour sending extravagant gifts. I think Marina was a bit slow to grasp what was going on involving Evie – something I had guessed in book one, Marina was only starting to realise now – even Ethan suspected something was up, and he’d only met Evie once! I guess I could understand why though – Evie had been part of Marina’s life since the beginning, and so there was really no reason for her to think of her as anything other than part of the family. Plus, Evie was genuinely just a nice person, and really cared for Marina, and it was difficult not to like her when she was so charming and lovely.
I think my favourite new character in this book was probably Kimo, the famous professional surfer that Marina met while surfing with Shayla. Kimo seemed like a really nice guy, and was very impressed by Marina’s surfing skills, especially since she’d only be surfing a few months. I liked the banter between the two; Kimo was pretty funny and had taken an immediate liking to Marina, and was trying to persuade her to go surfing on tour with him and his friends. Ethan, as one would expect, didn’t think too much of Kimo, which I found quite amusing. While I did like Ethan, I felt he was a bit overprotective in this book and spent a lot of time trying to tell Marina what to do (I was kind of glad when she didn’t listen). He did seem to really care for Marina though, and could be very romantic, and I loved all their scenes together, especially the really cute and funny ones which made me smile.
Overall, The Moon and Sea was a great addition to the series, and I’m looking forward to the next book, The Fate of the Muse. There are a lot of questions that still need answering, and I’m excited about finding out the answers!