by Brenda Pandos

Everblue by Brenda Pandos has to be one of the most exciting books since the Harry Potter series. My reading began in June and did not end until November. This is not an indication that the book was difficult to read but, rather, the fact that I became so wrapped up in the characters and plot that I had to put it down for a “cooling off” period.

While much – if not most – young adult “mer-fiction” is geared towards a decidedly female target audience, Everblue contains enough action and male perspectives that young adult guys will enjoy reading this just as much as the girls. The story is told in alternating chapters by the hero and heroine of the story and that helps to expand the target audience. (Now if YA guys would just give the video games a rest and pick up a book now and then . . .)

A significant part of the story takes place in the sub-terranean, sub-aquatic realm of Natatoria – a dystopic society if ever there was one. Young Adult readers would do well to compare Natatoria with the dystopic societies envisioned in 1984 and Brave New World. (This reviewer hopes that those books are still included on high school reading lists!) Brenda Pandos so effectively envisions this dystopic society that one begins to feel an overwhelming claustrophobia whenever the action shifts to the Natatoria locale.

The author does an outstanding job of world-building. While one might quibble with how she envisions the mer-folk or some of the plot complications, there is no getting by the fact that the world of Everblue is a well thought-out one.

Since this is a YA novel, there is – of course – a romantic theme to the story. This reviewer is a sucker for happy endings and with the 2nd book of this series in the offing, it will be interesting to see where Brenda Pandos takes her two young characters.

As Everblue approaches its conclusion, it is obvious that the currents of change will soon begin to flow through Natatoria. Viva la revolucion!!!

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