Book Review: Shallows

shallowsbookcover“The sea isn’t safe. Only the bravest and strongest become sailors. Luminescent mermaids roam the depths and the shallows, mouthing words no one can hear, never surfacing. 

Raised all his life in an island fishing village, bookish Emerson Kadwell has always been warned away from the shore. But an infant memory of a song and the lapping of waves continually draw him.

When Emerson finds a mermaid stranded in an isolated part of the shoreline, the truth about his past and hers will change his world forever. 

A luminescent mermaid. A bookish inventor. A terrible truth. 
Shallows is a clean YA fantasy novel with elements of paranormal and romance. It is the first in a series.” (from Goodreads)

This was a little out of the box for me, but I liked it. A lot. 😀

The author did a great job presenting a world so authentic-feeling it almost seemed like historical fiction besides the huge splash of a speculative element.

Emerson was a sweet, relatable character. He’s an absentminded, big-hearted inventor who wears a newsie cap and looks like a young Andrew Garfield. What’s not to love? Also, he has social anxiety and panic attacks which never made him seem weak but instead made me root for him even more.

I appreciated the portrayal of good parent/child relationship and the theme of not jumping to conclusions about people. Emrie and Saria are the cutest e.v.e.r. And I may or may not have cried a little at the end.

This book may not be classified as Christian Fiction, but the strong pro-life theme really spoke to me. Like Emerson, I have trouble speaking out, but this book encouraged me to be a voice for the voiceless–no matter how uncomfortable it is for me.

Just a note, this book does include mermaids and a sweet, appropriate attraction between older teens. Also, the evil dude is the leader of a pagan religion that practices human sacrifice and magic, though we never see him doing any spells, fortunately.

Best quote: “His planned words forgotten, Emerson blurted, “I’ve been a horrible person. I didn’t really see the real you. I didn’t really hear you. I was inexcusably rude. I’m… sorry.” He ran a hand through his hair frustratedly. “It’s not enough, I know.”
Saria was quiet for a moment.
“I am sorry I would tease you when we were little,” she said softly.

Altogether, I’m so glad I gave this book a try. A great debut novel from this author! I can’t wait for the sequel. 😉

Also, Andrew Garfield.

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