Friday, August 26, 2016

BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE SKY


Review of BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE SKY by JACLYN DOLAMORE

I loved Jaclyn Dolamore’s novel MAGIC UNDER GLASS. Sadly, my local library doesn’t carry the second in that series. However, in my search I did discover this other intriguing young adult tale by the same author about the forbidden relationship between a mermaid and a winged boy.

Mermaids Esmerine and her sister have been selected for the honor of becoming sirens. Hopefully this prestige will overshadow Esmerine’s lifelong reputation for being that weird mermaid child who played on the beach with that winged boy. Though Esmerine hasn’t seen Alander in years, their taboo friendship has followed her everywhere.

Those selected as sirens often have a dangerous fascination with humans. It helps if you’re going to be spending so much time at the surface luring men to their deaths. When becoming a siren, a mermaid receives a magical belt that adds to the power of her song and gives her the ability to transform her tail into legs. If a human takes a siren’s belt, she cannot return to her mermaid form.

Esmerine’s sister Dosia has always liked humans a little too much for Esmerine’s taste, even abusing her belt’s powers so she can stride on human legs into human parties. When Dosia goes missing Esmerine fears the worst: that one of the human men Dosia has been flirting with took her belt, trapping her on land. Desperate to find and save her sister, Esmerine ventures on land where she finds Alander and he in turn offers his help for finding Dosia.

This is a hyperbolized, familiar tale about people born from such different worlds that you wonder what they can possibly have in common. Yet it turns out they have the most important things in common, core commonalities in their philosophies that make them unexpectedly perfect for each other.

Big surprise, but I love books about characters who love books. And both Esmerine and Alander love books. He works in a bookshop and her main draw to the surface world is the sad fact that the pages of knowledge loves so much disintegrate underwater.

Dolamore delivers another fun, smart read. She never lectures, but there’s a lot of depth to her storylines and characters.

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