Novels

Awakened Fate seriesby Skye Malone

  • Awaken
  • Descend
  • Return
  • Abide (Novella)
  • Arise
  • Become

Reading a five and ½ book series in less than a week leaves one in a somewhat breathless state. That breathlessness is exacerbated by the fact that the series of books was extremely difficult to put down. However, sleep, meals, and showers eventually prevailed.

Rather than review each book individually, a daunting task in and of itself, this reviewer will look at the series as a whole. This reviewer will also dispense with his standard examination of the first 45% of the story.

Overall, the Awakened Fate series is a non-stop, action-filled adventure and Young Adults – as well as older readers – will get their money’s worth and well more. For those of you searching for a simple recommendation, this is a good point to stop and click on the ‘Buy’ button.

This reviewer has read so many mermaid–themed books over the past five years, that he’s lost track. While it has been fun, this reviewer has learned to recognise mermaid clichés. Although it’s hard for authors in this sub-genre to avoid them, it is how they are employed which makes all the difference. Skye Malone has artfully woven them into a thrill packed adventure series where they are hardly noticed.

The protagonist in this series is a 17 years-old red-head named Chloe Kowalski. She has spent all of her life in the American mid-west – Kansas to be specific – and has been blessed (or cursed – you decide) with a set of hydrophobic, nutso parents. The parental Kowalski’s have done everything in their power to obliterate references to the sea in their lives. Naturally, Chloe loves the idea of the sea, and as a result, has been grounded so many times, she ought to think she was a gopher. Her parents would no doubt like that.

Her best friend and next-door neighbour, Baylie, is off to see the other half of her blended family in Santa Lucina, CA and invites Chloe along. Being your normal late adolescent in a YA novel, Chloe agrees to go. She also fails to tell her parents.

An Awakened Fate

Chloe’s visit to the beach in Santa Lucina is one of those watershed moments in a person’s life. One of those moments where one starts to discover they are not what they thought they were. This moment sets off a roller-coaster ride of capture, imprisonment, escape, flight, surprise, terror, torture, threats to Chloe’s life, and duplicity. Lots and lots of duplicity. A lesser person would have cried ‘uncle’ after the first or second book. Fortunately, Chloe has a strong survival impulse. She also has some good friends in her corner.

Among those friends are two boys, Zeke and Noah. These two could not be more different. One is a merman – a prince to be precise – while the other is a greliaran. In case you’re wondering, these are beasts of magical origin, programmed to kill any merman or mermaid – referred to as dehaians – that dares to set foot or fin on the shore. Fortunately, Noah – along with his father and brother – is a changed being who has curbed his primal instincts.

While one may sigh that it’s just another ‘which one do I choose’ scenario[1], this one is different. It also contains an unexpected end. The reader is kept guessing until the story’s conclusion.

Magic

In a previous paragraph, I mentioned the ‘M’ word; Magic. The Awakened Fate series is infused with magic. This can be tricky, however. It is often used as a crutch to support a weak plot. In other cases, it is a driving force within the story. Skye Malone has done a brilliant job of weaving the magical element into the series.[2]

There are car chases across the country as well as numerous plots against Chloe’s life. One of these includes a demonic version of Dr. Cliff Huxtable. (The irony is intentional.) This reviewer could blether on and on about the worthiness of this series but Awakened Fate speaks for itself and stands on its own merits.

No matter if you are YA, NA, OA, or even OF,[3] the Awakened Fate series is a must read for anyone who likes a mermaid-themed thriller with plenty of action and a healthy dose of magic. 

My Rating:  Four Pipes


[1] For a more traditional version in a mer-themed context, please read The Fairytail Saga by S.K. Munt

[2] For a mermaid story with a bare minimum of magic, please read Urban Mermaid by Howard Parsons. This is a shameless plug, but I have bills to pay.

[3] Young Adult, New Adult, Older Adult, Old Fart.

IMG_0926A week ago, this morning, I joined the ranks of retired Americans. (Re-tyred is a play on the British spelling of “tire”. Brits & Canadians will get the humour. The rest of you probably won’t.)

The contractor position which had occupied my time for over 18 months, ended sooner than expected. Since I had planned for this job to carry me at least to retirement age, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. I could return to the soul-crushing task of trying to find another job – age discrimination at 58 would be a walk in the park compared to that at age 64 – or I could simply call time on my career and follow my hallucination dream of becoming a writer.

It wasn’t even close! Retirement won, hands down. Of course, I did carry out due diligence by checking my company’s current openings for positions which matched my skill-set. Those positions I did find, all required me to relocate. With three houses to manage – my late mother’s, my late mother-in-law’s, and my own – the prospects of wrapping up 3 properties and disposing of  a combined 100+ years of accumulated stuff, the chances of being able to complete my relocation anytime soon were slim and none. What’s more, I’d have to report for work at where-ever and my wife would be left with most of the work AND her own full-time job as well.

Like I said, it wasn’t even close.

So, after taking a week off to attend the 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book – more on that in a subsequent post – I’m back at my desk here in Hopewell, trying to sort out a book give-away, get going on my second novel, pay some bills, and establish some sort of daily routine.

So, what does this mean for The Parsons’ Rant?

Well, I’ve got two blog sites to deal with, now. There’s the Tails From Colony Island site (ColonyIsland.com) that deals with my series of novels. And then, there’s this one as well. I plan to limit posts on the Colony Island site to topics dealing directly with the series and to use this one for the usual ranting and raving.

The Parsons’ Rant has been neglected for the past couple of years. There are a number of things which no longer work and will require repair, replacement, or elimination. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. So, if you’re one of the loyal few who have followed The Parsons Rant through the lean times, thanks.

Now, to edit Chapter 1 of novel # 2 and also figure out why I can’t get any sound out of my PC this morning.

As of 10:30 this morning, 11 ARC copies of Urban Mermaid were on their way to the lucky few who get to read Penelope’s story before anyone else does. I had originally planned to mail them out during lunch on Friday but decided to wait 24 hours so they’d receive the coveted Hopewell, VA postmark. (Remember, not EVERYTHING is postmarked “Hopewell, VA 23860”.)

Now, it’s all up to the Urban Mermaid Review Crew. I’ll know in about a month or so. Then, it’s off to the printer’s and on to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and any other place that sells books. For those of you with e-readers, there’s a digital version as well.

So in October, I’ll take my tweed jacket with the elbow patches to the dry-cleaners and fish out my horn-rimmed glasses. I’ve already got the pipe!

The Marked Ones

S. K. Munt

S. K. Munt

 

Today, we have with us an exciting new author who has brought the concept of mermaids – often considered to be the province of children’s stories and Young Adult Fiction – into the realm of adult fantasy novels. Not only has she given mer-folk a change of venue but her writing has managed to turn quite a few heads and she has quickly developed an enthusiastic following.

The Marked Ones is the first installment in Ms Munt’s Fairytail series that is expected to run to at least thee books if not more. Given the accolades for her debut novel, the second, Three Rings, is likely to cement her position as a nascent writer of outstanding fiction. Her fans would seem to agree that S.K. Munt is an author to watch.

For example, one person on Goodreads.com wrote the following upon completion of  The Marked Ones:

I am gone on The Marked Ones. Gone. I can’t function.
It’s so different from everything I’ve ever read!  — Abby Jocavich

S.K. Munt is an intriguing writer and we are grateful that she took time out from her busy schedule to answer our 20 Questions.

Large Q How did you get started as an author?
Large A I think every writer gets their ‘calling’ through a love of reading. I taught myself to read at 4, using those old Alf books that came with a cassette. When the tape went ‘ding’ you turned the page. By year two it was ghost stories (J.B Stamper, Tales Of the Midnight Hour) and by the third grade I’d made it to Stephen King and The Baby-Sitters Club.
Ghost stories fascinated me. I was that kid that ‘weird’ things happened to (Note, not the weird kid) and I was always dreaming up things to tell my friends at slumber parties that would guarantee emotional scarring well into adulthood. In fact, one story I made up, based on a true one from Borley Rectory, has become a local urban legend. As I grew, it did. I am probably the only person in my town who will stand on that cliff face at night by themselves without knocking-knees. And giggle my ass off.
Then think of something terrifying and hightail it back down to civilisation. I always kept a diary and by the fifth grade, I was writing whole books by hand. This went on and on-always a different genre, and by the eighth grade, I knew what my path was. I didn’t have a choice. Another very important aspect, was that I was alone a lot growing up, and suffered a lot of bullying. But nine times out of ten, I talked my way out of situations I didn’t belong in. I’d even have recurring dreams about charming monsters. So from a very young age, as a very small person – I knew that words were my allies.
Large Q What led you to write The Marked Ones?
Large A I grew up next to a beach, near a resort, so mermaids were just something ingrained in my sub-conscious and fantasies. And after a trip to Hawaii I got hooked on surfing. Once I started, I couldn’t make myself stop – the ocean is the most magical thing on this planet. But the real idea came when I found myself defending an unflattering portrayal of mermaids back in 2011, and I decided to charge myself with the job of making mermaids relate-able, feasible, and as glamorous as in my wildest dreams. It was hard. There are so many differing myths that I scrapped them all and started from scratch. It took months. I didn’t have any specific scenes in mind, just a vague outline-when I encountered a very large tiger shark while surfing. Alone. I took the fact that it didn’t eat me as a sign that the ocean was on my side. (A theory rebuffed by a marine biologist a few weeks ago, because apparently, tiger sharks are just lazy and not hungry during the day) and I had a scene. I started writing that day and haven’t stopped. The same thing happens to Ivyanne in TMO, and I see it as a parallel to my childhood nightmares about talking myself out of bad situations with creatures who have sharp teeth. I did talk to the shark too. Something along the lines of : ‘Hey…you’ve got pretty markings there…I think I’ll appreciate them better from the shore…you must be bored huh? It’s a flat day…oh look…here comes a wave…I’m going to paddle, gently – don’t be alarmed – it’s not a rejection….but I can’t pass up a minnow like that around here…’
Large Q Mermaid stories are quite popular at the moment in the Young Adult market. How do you think this popularity translates to the adult market?
Large A When I was little, my mermaid dreams consisted of sitting on a rock and combing my hair. When I was a teenager, they consisted on sitting on a rock, combing my hair, and flirting with the cute sailor I saved (who would have the face of my crush at the time.) When I was a young adult, I’d be on that same rock, willing a ship-load of ex boyfriends and bullies into another rock while singing sweetly, and now, I want the rock, a fancier boat, a hotter sailor, maybe two, (were I not happily married to the one from my early teens 😉 ) and the chance to just take off underwater when I need to escape, and find my centre when life becomes overwhelming and the kids won’t make their beds. Young adults will grow, and as they evolve, their own mermaid fantasies will shift, and I hope the current drags them in my direction. I’ve already rescued a few, so I know they’re out there and that others will follow.
Large Q Was there any particular literary inspiration for your “world-building”?
Large A Not specifically. The world in TMO is my reality. It’s my home town. But I will credit the ‘darker’ paranormal romance genres for breaking all of the traditional rules in the last few years and making the possibilities for world building with ANY kind of mythical creature more easily recieved.
Large Q Are there any real people or literary characters that influenced the development of your own characters for The Marked Ones?
Large A Yes on the real people part. Very few characters in TMO are complete figments of my imagination. But I live in a small town so to avoid burning at the stake, a lot of them are hybrids of similar souls, so no one is going to read it and go: ‘Oh she is SO dead!’.
Ivyanne, the main character and Aubrielle are probably the only ones who are like no one I know. As for literary influences, I think I’ve put a facet of every fictional man I’ve ever loved into my main characters: Edward Cullen, Rhett Butler, Eric Northman, Noah Calhoun, Slim Mackenzie, Pacey Witter, Wesley from The Princess Bride and Spike from Buffy, lol.
Large Q Let’s talk about the main characters. What can you tell us about Ivyanne – both outside and inside?
Large A Ivyanne is in a position in life that every girl wishes they were in. She’s is astoundingly beautiful, sweet, tolerant, a guardian of the environment, beloved and coveted. She is also wealthy, and clever. The ideal mermaid princess, on the page. But those we view in life as perfect are often the most unhappy and that is Ivyanne’s curse. She doesn’t care about her beauty, because she’s not allowed near men. It’s like owning a ferrari when you live on an a tiny island with no roads. People adore her for being self-sacrificing, virginal and sweet, but in truth she resents the sacrifices, is horny as hell and wants everyone to stop caring so she can break all the rules and finally live her life. The catch 22 of perfection is that one has to be perfect, and there is no fun in that. No one likes being the designated driver when the people in the backseat are having the time of their lives and you are excluded from it. In TMO, Ivyanne is coming of age-ten years later than everyone else-and she has to struggle to hold on to who she has to be for her people, and who she needs to become so she can live with herself for a very, very long time.
Large Q Ivyanne has three suitors. Let’s talk about Tristan. He seems to be something of a rake doesn’t he?
Large A Tristan is absolutely a rake. But he is born that way and is unapologetic about it, and this is what redeems him. In a world full of people striving for the top, while feigning modesty-Tristan is a breath of fresh air that gets what he wants because he knows he deserves it. There are not many people this honest with themselves around, but if you know one-I bet they’re your favourite person-in small doses. He is Ivyanne’s polar opposite in that sense – a vision of who she could be, and how she could dominate her own world, if only she believed in herself to the same degree. People assume Tristan’s role in this tale is as the token dark-knight bad boy, but I see him as a reflection of our heroine’s potential, as well as the poster child for the ultimate mermaid ideal, and he has a journey of his own to undertake before he becomes as fulfilled as he is flawless.
Large Q Ivyanne’s childhood friend, Ardhi, seems to be something of a loose cannon doesn’t he?
Large A Ardhi is a complex character. He has grown up under the shadow of a scandal, because his parents broke a serious rule by marrying withinThe Marked families without royal approval first. This has made his sister eager to please others and tow the line, but has had the opposite effect on Ardhi, leading him to isolate himself from the community. He understands it was wrong, but because the Loveridge family were given a blessing to do the same thing – he is unapologetic about it and sees himself as a victim of an unfair system. His mother is a bit of a social climber, trying to remove the tarnish from her family name by forcing her company onto the queen, who is tolerant but not overly receptive. This embarrasses Ardhi, and he resents his mother using him as a pawn to marry as best as he possibly can-yet when he falls for Ivyanne, he quickly begins to covet not just her heart, but the title that will come with it, demonstrating that he is more like his mother than he thinks. He is a loyal, intense and quiet man with very few desires in life. This made him a wonderful friend for Ivyanne, who preferred to keep to herself as well. But when she breaks out into the big world and is welcomed by others – people Ardhi either judges or resents – Ardhi panics. For the first time in his life, he wants something he might not get, and his true nature rises to the surface in pursuit of it.
Large Q Finally, there’s Bane, Tristan’s nephew. We don’t know much about him until the latter chapters in the book. Tell us about him and his impact on the plot.
Large A Bane is a character you don’t get to know well until books two and three, but he plays a vital role within the Saga. To me, he is the lighthouse guiding ships in distress to safety when things are at their darkest, and not just for Ivyanne-but all of them.
Large Q Then there’s Lincoln Grey, Ivyanne’s crush from her teen years. What can you tell us about him?
Large A Everybody knows a Lincoln. He is that guy who seemed to have it all as a teenager – Gorgeous, clean-cut, well mannered, popular with a sort of boyish charm. People flocked to them in school environments because they’re just genuinely pleasant to be around, never seem to get on anyone’s bad side and have the world laid out at their feet. That’s what we want for our own sons – the looks, the grades, the kindness and the popularity. Even-Steven, you might also say.Men like these are the ‘marrying kind’ every woman is after, and yet because these guys have always had it so easy, they never really know how to fight for anything. As a result, they tend to lose themselves in their relationships or work or family lives unless they discover something they have to challenge themselves over in order to attain. Lincoln was this passionate boy in his youth because of Ivanna – but tragic events broke his spirit, and so he chose to drift where the tide led him. Lincoln has been shaped by the ocean – it made him come alive when he almost drowned as an 11 year old, and he met Ivanna, and then crippled him when it took his mother. Both things happened at pivotal times in his life – the verge of adolescence and the verge of adulthood. Now it’s going to happen again, and how he handles it will define the rest of his life-but he will have to swim against the current to emerge victorious.
Large Q Lincoln’s character is sure to strike a chord with many male readers of The Lost Ones as some of us have found ourselves – at one time or another – caught in the trap of the forbidden/hopeless romance. How did you come up with such a spot-on characterisation?
Large A From the ages of 16 to 24, I worked as a bartender/ waitress in multiple venues. And if there’s one thing a bartender sees a lot of, it’s lonely men. Men that lost their love, or their job or their drive. When a woman is lonely, you might be completely unaware of it. They can pass themselves off as exuberant and fun-loving and ultra confident and you’d never know that they’re keeping so much pain within themselves. Men on the other hand, cannot hide such intense emotions. It shows through their eyes, their posture and the way they talk. Just as it shows when they truly love someone, or are very happy. I’ve seen men like Link at all stages in life – the young man falling in love, and the young man brokenhearted and scanning the room for the culprit. The same man, five years later out to dinner with a woman he may not be interested in but has settled for, and then ten years later when he’s completely resigned himself to a life without passion – but those eyes still scan the room, searching for her. Those same eyes avoid the mirror, though they speak endlessly of the past, and you know that mentally, they never left it. And then I’ve seen them forty years down the track, reacting to a girl who resembles their long-lost love-and it lights them from within. Hope can die, but memories never lose their grip on a broken heart. Want to see a man blossom? Whistle at a fifty year old construction worker on the side of the road. No virgin has a blush that equals the beauty of those smiles.
Large Q Finally, there is Adele, Lincoln’s off-again, on-again girlfriend who seems to be something of a consolation prize. She seems to be opportunistic and a bit
of a gold digger. How does she fit into all of this?
Large A I don’t believe in one-dimensional characters – It may have been easy to write Adele off as the token bitchy, blonde ice queen placed within the novel solely to irritate our darling heroine in the beginning, but there’s more to her than that. Yes she’s a socialite, yes she’s spoiled and she’s definitely opportunistic – but she’s not a model or a spokes girl – she’s an English major who sees more, feels more and wants more than people realise. Really, she and Tristan are mirror images of one another at this point – but her weaker character stems from the fact that she is human. She’s about to swim in the deep end which should guarantee her finding a sort of inner peace, but unfortunately, it’s a shark she’s swimming with. Either way, her journey is far from over.

Now that we’ve discussed the main characters, we’re going to take a bit of a break. Tomorrow, we’ll have the 2nd Part of our interview with S.K. Munt.

Read Part II of our interview with S.K. Munt.

Howard-Mermaid-Banner

 

We’re back with Part II of our interview. We’ve been speaking with Robert W. Cabell, playwright and author, about his Mermaid Kingdom series. When we were setting up this interview with his publisher, Gazebo Books, Bob chimed in: “Now I can’t wait for my 20 questions,
or do I get 40 or maybe just 30?” Well, we gave him 32! Bob was a good sport about it and yesterday, we published the first 16 questions and today, we wrap up with the remaining 16.
[stextbox id=”Question” float=”true” width=”250″]If you haven’t read Part I of this interview, [intlink id=”6131″ type=”post”]go ahead and read it first[/intlink]. Don’t worry. We’ll wait for you.[/stextbox]

When we took a break from the first part of our interview, we were discussing one of the main characters, Perl, who will be the focus of her own spin-off series in the coming months. Today, we’ll learn a bit more about her as well as some of the other characters in Robert Cabell’s stories. Let’s pick up where we left off in the interview.

 

Large Q In her own way, Pearl rescues her Grandmother, Helmi, from petrification. Is there, perhaps, some greater purpose to this in the story?
Large A Yes, turning the old gods turning to stone thru apathy and sorrow is an ongoing part of the books and series.  That tends to happen in our lives, as we get older.  Apathy or fear sets in and we sit back and let the world pass us by.  That is a mistake for everyone.
Large Q Perl comes in to her birthright with as much aplomb as anyone who suddenly has gills & a tail can. Why do you think that is?
Large A Growing up, Pearl was “different” and to her, the dreams and fantasies she surrounded herself with were her real world.  Also I have known several adopted people, and they all grow up fantasizing who their “real parents” are, no matter how great their adopted parents, or “Mom & Dad” are.
Large Q Miranda is featured prominently in All the Mermaids and is the Heroine of Mermaid Christmas What can you tell us about her?
Large A Miranda is a fearless and as beautiful as the sea.  Which kind of sums up my oldest niece.
Large Q Your stories span millennia. In what way will Perl’s life be different from both her mother’s and grandmother’s.
Large A Pearl has to deal with the world of man, even more than her mother Miranda did.  Also thru the transformation of Pearl, we also finally realize the prophecy of the creation of the new race of mer-folk.  So Pearl will act as both a future ruler of that race, and an ambassador to the world of two-leggers, or humans above.  And she will deal specifically with pollution of the oceans.
Large Q Finally, there is Poseidon’s youngest daughter, Helmi. What can you say about her character?
Large A Helmi is more shy and retiring than her daughter or granddaughter, because she spent so much time alone, away from the company of others in her early centuries.  But she has the wisdom and the concept of time far beyond that of either Miranda and Pearl.  In the sequel/ prequel The Mermaid King of Krakatau which starts at the birth of Miranda, and ends at the explosion of Krakatau.
Large Q Perl and Mark seem to develop a mutual crush during the brief voyage through the Panama Canal. Does Mark feature in Perl’s future
Large A Yes, but not until the second book in the series Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid. 
Large Q Love and friendship are two of the main themes in both books. Are there any others?
Large A Each series has its focus.

All The Mermaids In The Sea sequels /prequels to are The Mermaid King of Krakatau and Pearls of Wisdom.  They deal heavily with Greek Mythology and the Titans, and spins of the other series of books I have coming out all about the Titans and the “creator gods” of Greek Mythology and how Media became the hag.

Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid focuses on environmental issues, young romance, and the complications of interracial species. 

The Magical Adventures of Princess Miranda focuses on great moments in history, and will have its own – “Aurthinian – Merlin” book next. 

The Aquatic Adventures of Alex and Alexandra will be more “Potterish in that is creates the alternate world of Oceanus, a city created by Poseidon that houses all the great treasures of the gods, and the adventures of young twin merfolk.

Large Q The Sea Hag – a.k.a. Media – and her surrogate represents the force of evil in your story. Can we expect any other baddies to appear?
Large A Cronos, the Hag, the scarz and the Greek family will continue to plague the mermaids with a few new creature twists.
Large Q Miranda meets an untimely end. Will she somehow return as did Helmi’s mate or will she remain a shade?
Large A That is the focal point of Pearls of Wisdom and the answer is  “yes and no”.
Large Q You have planned several series of books stemming from “All the Mermaids”. How many books in all do you envision?
Large A As many as I can write before I die.
Large Q How have All the Mermaids and Mermaid Christmas been received by both readers and critics?
Large A So far it has all been 4 and 5 stars or – “one of my favorite books of this genre” which is a gift from god to any writer.  You can’t help but break out into tears when people decide to validate your work with any kind of praise.  We write because we have to get this story down that is clawing it’s way out of our brain.  Not for money or fame.  The validation form readers is the true gold for a writer.  And when they go to websites like Goodreads or Amazon or Barnes and Nobles and post reviews, it is the greatest gift they can give to help a book take off and have a life.
Large Q What other books have you authored?
Large A

I did a book on humor called The Encyclopedia of Laugher with Joey Adams.

            The Hair-Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde

            Blonde Jokes, Jayms Blonde Jokes a photo joke book about blondes and life in general

            All The Mermaids In The Sea

            A Mermaid Christmas Volume One of The Magical Adventures of Princess Miranda

            Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid Volume One:  Attack of the Atomic Vampire Lamprey

            The Atomic Adventures of Alex and Alexandra Volume One:  What’s A Kraken?

            The Little Dyslexic Angel an illustrated children’s book

            The First Superstar about the life and times of the French Actress Sarah Bernhardt,

which is coming out this summer.

            The Clone Whores of Atlantis, 2048 coming out next fall.

            Chaos And The Titans coming out for Christmas of 2013

Large Q You are a playwright as well. How does the creative process for the stage compare with that for All the Mermaids?
Large A Every format you write in has some kind of “restrictions” except  – novels.  There you have total freedom to write what you want.  In a play you have to think about cast size, production costs.  In a play it is all about dialogue and interaction.  You can’t really give the “history” in a narrative except in very rare occasions.  There is no lush description of the surroundings or complex action or locations.  It is limited to live dialogue and unless you have a huge Broadway budget, a fairly limited set.

My musicals are very different.  Z – The Masked Musical of Zorro which has two productions in Germany this coming summer, is a heroic epic.  My Off-Broadway Musical Pretty Faces is about a beauty pagent for plus size women.  Act One is the week of rehearsals for the pageant, and Act Two is the Pageant, on and off stage.  Both of these have albums available on i-Tunes. 

I have a series of plays about Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde, and those are all about dialogue.

Large Q You seem to be a creative Renaissance man. Is there anything else that you’d like to be able to do?
Large A Well, I like to say I have been paid for everything and arrested for nothing.  If I hadn’t gone into theater, I would have become a marine biologist, which explains my passion for the sea.  But – I’ve been in the “Entertainment Industry” for over 40 years, and that gives you the time and opportunity to do anything you want.  And I wanted to do it all.  One by one, but try doing everything I could, and over the years I have.  I’ve directed, choreographed, designed and produced theater both regionally and in NY.  I’ve also acted and sung professionally for years, and I’ve produced albums, documentaries and short films, as wells as worked as a director, an editor and a director of photography, been the singer for a band, and soloist for orchestras.. I’ve also worked as an illustrator, created fragrances, sold paintings in galleries, been an avid gardener  As a journalist I have written for the NY Post and other papers and magazines, been a NY theater critic, worked in marketing and syndication for Television with companies like HBO and Spelling.  Basically, every time I get a chance to try something new – I take it.  I’ve been successful with most things, and failed at a few, but I have loved every chance to try something new and hope I get more and more chances as life goes on.  I am not a very savvy internet person, but the phrase “google me” works.  If you google “Robert W. Cabell” it gives you a little idea of the different things I have done.
Large Q Is your move to Seattle – one of the primary locales in All The Mermaids – a permanent one?
Large A As I said, I wrote the book seven years ago, I have no children, like my brother and sister do, so I promised my parents when they reached the age that they needed someone to take care of them, I would come home.  I’ve got that “care-giver gene”.  I have taken care of many of my friends since the 80’s as their health failed.  From Aids, to Cancer, to ALS.  Caring for someone is more than just feeding and dressing and bathing them.  You need to give them as much love and laughter as you can so when they wake up every morning, they know the day will still hold some joy for them.  So when my mom and dad called me in New York last year and asked if I would move back to care for them, I did.  I lived in Manhattan for 34 years, and now, I live in the Seattle area.    I will live here as long as my parents are with me, and when they pass, after that, I don’t know…Berlin…Hong Kong…Vancouver?
Large Q Before we wrap up, Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Large A Just that if anyone likes the book, please tell their friends and post a comment on whatever community they are part of.  Facebook, kindle, Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing all of them are really helpful to authors.

[boxify box_spacing = “10” padding = “8” background_color = “#F0F8FF” background_opacity = “80” border_width = “3” border_color = “#000080” border_radius = “10” border_style = “solid” height = “150” position=”right”]Interested in what I have to say about Robert Cabell’s  mermaid books? See the reviews for:

  • [intlink id=”5328″ type=”page”]All The Mermaids In The Sea[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”5743″ type=”page”]A Mermaid Christmas[/intlink]

[/boxify]Bob, thank you so much for taking the time play 20 32 Questions. It has been a pleasure and I hope that our readers enjoyed the interview as well. From the sound of it, I’ll be reviewing your books for some time to come.

On a personal note, I must commend you for all the time and love that you have dedicated to Care-Giving. My wife and I have spent the past 4 years looking after our elderly mothers and, therefore, we can understand the calling and the sacrifices one must make to do this sort of thing. Our best wishes go to you and your family.

Howard-Mermaid-Banner

 

Welcome to the second in our series of 20 Question interviews with authors of Young Adult Fiction here on The Parsons’ Rant. There has been a tremendous surge in recent years of fantasy novels aimed at Young Adults featuring Merfolk and we are planning to take full advantage of this phenomenon  We have a number of authors queued up waiting for their time in The Parsons’ Rant spotlight so if you know of an author of Young Adult Fiction who has written or is planning to write a book or a series in the “Merfolk” sub-genre, please let me know.

Robert Cabell and friend

Robert Cabell and friend

Our guest today is the multi-talented author and playwright, Robert W. Cabell. According to his bio on Amazon.com,  he ” . . . has spent three decades working in the New York entertainment industry with giants like Time Warner, HBO, Spelling International, Columbia Pictures, and the NY Post. He has written a book on humor with the legendary Joey Adams, and is the author of numerous musicals and plays that have been produced in New York and across the country, and have been translated for production in multiple languages. The NY Cast Albums of his musicals are available from the i-Tunes store. 2012 marked the publication debut of his Mermaid Kingdom series with Gazebo Books Publishing, featuring the novel All the Mermaids in the Sea, part one of a trilogy, and also the publication of his play, The Divine Trilogy of Sarah Bernhardt.”{{1}} So, let’s welcome Bob Cabell to The Parsons’ Rant.

Hi Howard and thanks for taking interest in All The Mermaids In The Sea and the up-coming spin-off’s and sequels to the book.  Until my publisher at Gazebo Books discovered your review, we had no idea there was such a developed community out there surrounding mer-fiction.  I just got back from a trip to Hawaii where I flew in helicopters, snorkeled, sailed in submarines and swam with dolphins, so I feel all Mer‘d up and ready for this interview.

Large Q How did you get started as an author?
Large A Hmmmm, well I have been making up my own little stories and been writing songs, plays, poems since I was a little kid.  I was singing my own songs in professional productions by the time I was twelve, (but I was six feet and shaving at twelve) so it has been a life-long occupation and obsession.
Large Q Your stories are directed to a wide range of ages and levels of maturity. Why did you take this approach?
Large A I never have been able to fit specific molds.  My work is always “out-side the box” in one way, and yet not too far from reality in another.  I love mixing lots of facts and history throughout my books which is part of the attraction it has to older audiences.  I also never lost my sense of childish wonder and exuberance for new things and I write with a great deal of humor, which appeals to younger people.  I am also a hopeless romantic, which appeals to teens and young adults, but I do not write erotica nor read it, so it makes all my stuff more general in “rating” and that tends to keep the story all over the place as far as its appeal to age groups.
Large Q There’s been a surge in young people’s fantasy novels in recent years and a wave of these stories deal with Merfolk.   Any thoughts about this?
Large A The recent surge in mermaid or mer-fiction was actually a surprise to me.  I wrote All The Mermaids In The Sea seven years ago.  I have had several other projects, books and plays in production and publication before this book, and I was just waiting for it to come up to the top of my list.  Seven years ago there was little or no mermaid books out there to my knowledge.Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and the Disney spin-offs basically defined and filled that genre, which is part of why I “spoof” or refer to them so much in my book.  I actually have to buy and read a lot of the other books to see what is out there, but I also don’t want to be influenced by others until I have launched all four series of my own, to keep them fresh and unique.
Large Q What led you to write All The Mermaids In The Sea?
Large A About 10 years ago one of my nieces went to Dolphin Quest in Hawaii, and I saw a picture of her in the water kissing a dolphin.  One day a year or two later I was looking at that picture after I had seen The Princess Diaries with Ann Hathaway and Julie Andrews, and the whole idea just popped into my head.
Large Q You have since released the second book, A Mermaid Christmas. In what way does this compliment the foundation story, “All The Mermaids”?
Large A The character of Miranda, the daughter of the Helmi, or the original “Little Mermaid” is immortal like her mother, and is several hundred years old in All The Mermaids In The Sea when she finally meets her one true love. A Mermaid Christmas is just the first volume in a new series The Magical Adventures Of Princess Miranda – which will be a series of books that chronicle here early life and adventures.
Large Q Let’s talk about All The Mermaids This is quite an epic isn’t it?
Large A The original Little Mermaid was one of my favorite books and stories since I was a little kid.  I remember seeing a production of it on TV when a grown up Shirley Temple, had her TV show (Shirley Temple Theatre (TV Series 1958–1961) – IMDb) she did amazing production (for that time) of The Little Mermaid and it brought the book to life for me in a way that I as a 4 or 5-year-old kid had never expected.  So I have always wanted to write more about that story, and in All The Mermaids In The Sea, I did.
Large Q You seem to draw on Norse/Germanic myths as well as the more familiar Greek myths? Any special reason for this?
Large A My family ethnic mix is English, Scottish, Irish, and German, so after being introduced to Greek Mythology as a kid through Hercules movies, I started to explore the mythology of my own family heritage. In 6th grade after reading The Hobbit, I became fascinated with fantasy too.
Large Q Your books almost seem to be an invitation for young people to learn the myths of not only ancient Greece but other cultures as well. Was that intentional?
Large A Yes, and I will be weaving that mixture all that through each of the series of books spinning off from All The Mermaids In The Sea.
Large Q While Poseidon and  Amphitrite come from classical mythology, did you draw your inspiration for your characters from a literary source?
Large A The character of the prince is taken from an actual king of Denmark, King Valdemar I, known as the builder.  The rest of the main characters were mostly inspired by my family.  I am a twin, but not identical.  I had black hair and my twin brother had auburn hair and at one point was 6 inches shorter than I was.  I was over six feet tall and stopped growing at 13 and he didn’t stop growing until his 20’s, but we wound up the same height.  The personalities of my mermaids are all from my 4 nieces.
Large Q In Mermaid Christmas, you spend a fair amount of time describing coelenterates. Can we expect a new generation of marine naturalists to get their start as a result of reading your book?
Large A Jelly fish, sea anemones and planktons are a part of every story, but they will be a great part of Pearl A Modern Day Mermaid and that series I hope inspires of lot of young readers to become marine naturalists, or biologists.
Large Q If you mention the Faroe Islands to most Americans, the response will be on the order of “Huh?” but yet it is one of the major locales in the story. Why?

Large A It was a total fluke.  I was putting together all the myths and geographic structure of my story and pulled out a map.  I said to myself that if all this stuff was true then I would create a secret island somewhere out here, between Ireland and Iceland, and then I notice there really was a series of islands, right where I wanted them to be.  Not only that, they were part of Denmark and had a rich lore of mermaids and silkies and Norse Gods, all their own.
Large Q All the Mermaids In The Sea has quite the cast of characters. Was it difficult bringing a crowd like this to life?
Large A Each generation needed to feel alive and complete, so the cast of characters just created themselves as the stories took on their own life.
Large Q Your major female characters are Helmi, Miranda and Perl. Is there a commonality – besides the obvious – that ties them all together?
Large A Helmi means “Pearl” in Finnish, and I used the tradition of naming a daughter after her grandmother to connect them.  Also building the mythology of the lavender pearls.  Oddly enough back in 2002 when I started working on All The Mermaids  I googled “Pearl and mermaid” and there was no other story out there that used that name for a mermaid.  Now, after publishing the book, I have discovered that there is more than one book that uses that name for a mermaid.  I used Miranda because it was the name created by Shakespeare for the heroine in his play ‘The Tempest’.  It a means admirable and beautiful plus it had the Mir – part of the name which in Celtic, refers to the sea.
Large Q My favourite character is Pearl. What’s she like?

Large A Pearl was based on my third niece, the one who went to DolphinQuest.  She looks like Ann Hathaway, and loved all the Disney movies of The Little Mermaid, and was the one who introduced me to The Princess Diaries.  She is scary bright, fearless, and loves sushi.
Large Q At the end of the story, Pearl’s adoptive parents have retired to Little Ditma. Will we see them again in any future story?

Large A Yes, they come back in the new series Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid.

 

[boxify box_spacing = “10” padding = “8” background_color = “#F0F8FF” background_opacity = “80” border_width = “3” border_color = “#000080” border_radius = “10” border_style = “solid” height = “150” position=”right”]Interested in what I have to say about Robert Cabell’s  mermaid books? See the reviews for:

  • [intlink id=”5328″ type=”page”]All The Mermaids In The Sea[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”5743″ type=”page”]A Mermaid Christmas[/intlink]

[/boxify]
That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow for the second part of this interview where we will learn more about Perl, as well as some of the other characters in Robert Cabell’s Mermaid Kingdom series. We’re also going to more about Mr. Cabell, his many accomplishments and his plans for the future.

[stextbox id=”Information” float=”true” width=”300″]You can read the second part of our interview with Robert W. Cabell here.[/stextbox]

 

 

 

[[1]]Copyright 2012 & 2013 by Amazon.com. All rights reserved[[1]]

Howard-Mermaid-Banner

I wanted to give a bit of advance notice to those of you who like Mer-fiction and Young Adult fantasy. Tomorrow, February 4th, 2012, I will release Part I of an interview with Robert W. Cabell, author of All The Mermaids In The Sea and A Mermaid Christmas. This is my most ambitious interview to date and I’ll play 20 Questions – 33, actually – with an extremely talented and fascinating writer. Part II will be released on February 5th. This is definitely an interview to read!

Beyond the Sea

Beyond the Sea

 by Emily Goodwin

No doubt, it has become a maxim amongst those who follow my reviews of Mer-fiction that if I write a review, I am going to naturally say that it’s a great book. In reality, I only write reviews for books that I believe are really good/great/fantastic. Therefore, in the lines below, is my review of a Young Adult bit of Mer-fiction that I found to be really good and enjoyed immensely. As an added bonus, there is the cover art at the left. It is one of the very few depictions of a mermaid – or merman – perched on a rock that is reasonably close enough to the water’s surface that the mer-person can climb on to it without much of a struggle. Think of it; the usual illustration of  a mermaid – or merman – depicts them ensconced upon a rock that is at least five or six feet above the water. While this may be done to simply show off the artist’s lovely depiction of a mer-tail, the whole scene beggars belief. Since the mer-person is “en-tailed”, just how do they get up there? Levitate?

But enough talk about art; let’s talk about the story itself. It is natural for the new girl in school to feel like a fish out of water but in Melia’s case it is literally true. Melia is a M – the Celtic equivalent of a mermaid. Actually, Melia is only a Merrow on her father’s side; her mother is a Oceanid or water nymph. In the world that Ms Goodwin has created for us, Merrows are tied to the sea. In other words, they can’t simply swap their fins for a pair of legs and go for a stroll on the beach. Oceanids, however, can live on land as well as in the sea and since she is the product of a mixed marriage, Melia can come and go as she pleases.

Right now, Melia is spending most of her time on dry land since the murder of her sister by parties unknown. Her step-father is human and is also extremely well off. Her mother spends most of her time at his side in New York City. Melia has tried living there but the water quality is wretched  and who can blame her for wanting to stay on the left coast. There she sits; the sole occupant of a grand house overlooking the sea with only the cook cum body-guard for company. Her only friends are a nerdy girl named Jamie Foster – who is able to see into the spirit world – and Peter Anderson – football player and overall handsome dude – who, having recently ditched his girl due to a question of infidelity, is a free agent; or at least until he becomes involved with Melia.

Peter took Melia’s hands in his. The Friday morning sun sparkled in her eyes. She looked fantastic again today in another short dress. If she didn’t look so good in dresses (and if they weren’t as short as they were) Peter would think it odd that she always wore them. He liked that she rarely wore make up and her hair was almost always down.

Jamie was enlisted by Melia to divine the culprit in her sister’s murder. While Melia reveals her true self to Jamie early in the story, it won’t be until much, much later that Peter will find out and only after the two of them have become seriously involved. Jamie is quite accepting of what Melia is. Peter is a different story.

Melia is a child of the Pacific Ocean and not everything appears to be quite well there. Sightings of strange creatures become the norm. Melia tries to pay a visit to the mer-folk back home and discovers that not only has their undersea settlement has been abandoned but it appears that everyone has left in a hurry. Melia tries to keep a lid on all of this so as not to alarm Jamie and keep Peter thinking that she is a slightly odd but quite attractive person. This is her first real relationship and she so does not want it to end. That becomes harder and harder as strange creatures appear on the shore and on land. Melia does her best to protect those she cares about but her best may not be enough.

Emily Goodwin has done an outstanding job of weaving various aquatic mythologies together in order to build the world that Melia – and, increasingly, Jamie and Peter – inhabits. Melia lives at the interface between the world of humans and the world of her birth  and the conflict she feels between wanting to go “home” and wanting to be with her human friends is quite palpable. Of the three main characters, Peter is the most normal. No paranormal powers or fins for him. Yet he becomes quite real because of the burden he bears; the unwanted child of religious parents who somehow see him as a reminder of and punishment for their pre-marital dalliance. Peter is marginalised as his parents focus their attention on his younger brother and sister and while Peter’s parents may feel that they are doing what is best for their oldest son, they are, in reality, pushing him further and further away.

In that way, Peter and Melia share a common condition. Both are outcasts from the worlds of their birth. Peter wants to escape his world by going off to college but he increasingly feels the tug of his life with Melia slowing his steps. Melia would love to be able to re-enter the sea and leave the alien world of life on land behind but the pull of those she loves  above the waves keeps her where she is. It is this unconscious sense of commonality, as well as their love for each other, that binds them together.

If there is one theme that stands out in this story, it is that of loving someone for whom they are and not what they are. Humans are not exactly the favourites of the denizens of the deep but Melia most certainly loves the ones she has come to know closely. Peter’s acceptance of Melia for what she is  turns out to be a bit rough at first but Peter comes to realise that she is the person he loves and – above all else – wants to protect and be with. This mutual love and acceptance can be contrasted with the relationship between Peter and his parents. They fail to love him for who he is – their first-born child – and only see him as what he is; the reason that they had to marry.

Jamie is accepted and cared for by two of the most attractive people at school, not simply because of her paranormal abilities but because she is a brave and loyal person rather than just some nerdy kid. It is because of the acceptance and encouragement coming from both Melia and Peter that Jamie starts to come out of her shell and claim her place in the world as a person of value and worthiness. It is through Ms Goodwin’s careful crafting that Beyond the Sea goes well beyond the province of simply being a Young Adult paranormal tale and becomes a story with a deeper meaning.

“It’s a shame,” Peter whispered, sitting on the bed.

“What is?” Melia asked as she sat on his lap.

“That no one on land will know how truly brave and amazing you are.”

“You know. That’s enough for me.”

While this is not the first Young Adult novel that Emily Goodwin has authored, she can be justly proud of her accomplishments in conceiving the story, bringing the characters to life and gifting the reader an exciting plot with a deeper meaning below its surface. In its own way, Beyond the Sea is as memorable as its namesake song by Bobby Darin. This story stays with the reader long after the last sentence is read.

The second book in the Beyond the Sea series, Red Skies at Night, is due for release later in 2013. If the quality of the first book is any indication, the second book will be a “must read” for fans of this particular genre.

My Rating:   Emily Goodwin’s blog may be found at  www.emily-goodwin.blogspot.com

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Paperback Kindle

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Read a sample of Beyond the Sea

[embed_kindle asin=”B007PWG0IM”]

by Emm Cole

This reviewer has read quite a bit of  “Mer-fiction” as research for his own novel and has noticed that a lot of the stories fall into a somewhat predictable pattern such as human girl/boy meets a mer- man/maid who is/may be a prince/princess. While there is nothing particularly wrong with that sort of scenario – and a good number of this reviewer’s favourite stories do fit this mould – he is nonetheless always on the look-out for something different and Emm Cole’s Merminia certainly fits the bill. Indeed, it is different – very different – from the usual fare.

The scene is set when the two sons of a deceased king go to war against each other over how their father’s kingdom was divided between them. It is a bloody and terrible conflict that envelops not only the opposing armies but the land and sea as well. The daughter of one of the combatants creates a ring from gifts given to her by her father and uncle in order to create a magic spell. She sacrifices the ring – and herself – to the sea so that the fates may step in and halt this bloody conflict.

For once, the fates keep their side of the bargain by enveloping her father and his subjects in the sea and rendering them as mer-folk. Her uncle’s subjects are confined to the land and cursed with shorter lives and illnesses. Alessia’s father finds her ring but never recovers his daughter. While his restraint in not using the ring is rewarded by the fates, his people squabbled over whether his inaction was good or bad. After his death, the people separate themselves into different clans based on the differing gifts bestowed upon the mermaids and history repeats itself as these clans engage in internecine warfare. It is here that the main story begins.

Selinne is the daughter of the hereditary chief of the Merminians and is not your typical mermaid. Indisposed to gossiping and adorning herself, she swims to a different drum and often finds herself in situations requiring rescue by her adoring adopted brother. The leader of the Litiant clan has been conducting a ruthless search for Adessa’s ring unaware of the fact that one of his sons had found and hidden the ring when he was as child. Ms Cole’s spellbinding story revolves around the conflict between the rival clans and one chief’s thirst for ultimate power.

The reader should not think for one moment that this is simply a sub-aquatic version of Lord of The Rings. While there are sea-dragons and other fearsome beasts, there are no mer-hobbits. Merminia is a story of conflict, capture, brutality, horror, betrayal and love with an ending that is not necessarily a happy one for the main characters.

Emm Cole’s Merminia  is a compelling story that should keep most readers entranced. The book itself is a very clean read with few – if any – typos, grammatical errors or misused words. That in and of itself garners high marks from this reviewer. While it is not a “happily ever after” kind of story, the reader will want to reach the end so that they can put all of the pieces together and ponder the unanswered questions. The story itself is a dark one but leaves this reviewer with a sense of hope for Selinne and her clan.

Overall, this is a very YA-friendly novel though, because of the darker elements of the plot, this reviewer would recommend it for older young adults. The story does not scream “Young Adult Fiction” and not-so-young adults will enjoy it as well. Merminia’s story arc lends itself more to a stand-alone novel rather than the first of a series. While trilogies seem to be the thing in Young Adult Fiction nowadays, the fact that this appears to be a one-off helps to make it more engaging and unique. While this novel is Ms Cole’s first venture into the underwater realm of mer-fiction, this reviewer earnestly hopes that it will not be her last and that adults – both young and otherwise – will have another opportunity to enjoy Emm Cole’s considerable story-telling skills and prowess as a writer.

Emm Cole’s website is at http://emmcole.com/     Read our interview with Emm Cole

My Rating:

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Paperback Kindle

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Read a sample of Merminia[embed_kindle asin=”B008VJ938C”]


by Marilena Mexi
Translated from the original Greek by George Maroudis

Antara is a compelling story that has more the feel of a fable or fairy tale than that of your average mer-novel. This aura does not mean that it isn’t as good as a regular novel; It is the feeling of a fable that makes Antara different and therefore enjoyable.

In the Greek language, Antara means, among other things, disturbance or turbulence which perfectly describes the situation on the large island of Aster. The name of the island  comes from the only kind of flowers that will grow there; Asters. Set in medieval times, Antara deals with the two peoples who inhabit the island: The humans who live on one side of the island where the aster flower takes on a dark red hue and the merfolk who live on the land and under the waters of the opposite side of the island. Both of the disparate populations had lived in both mutual respect and friendship for  years until the day when enormous waves swept the island causing a great loss of life amongst the human population. Since this disaster was caused by ocean waves, the humans assumed that the merfolk were behind it all and their friendship quickly turned into bitterness and hate.

As the story opens, the merfolk are ruled by Asteria and her grandfather, Azarus. It has been five years since the great disaster and their seer has foretold that it will return once more in a few weeks. The ruling council must decide how to warn the humans and avoid the great loss of life that will accompany the event. This will not be easy as there is great hatred amongst the humans for the merfolk and the humans have been carrying out a pogrom on them ever since the disaster. Simply walking in and advising the humans that they’d better seek higher ground is not an option. Amidst their deliberations, it is learned from the seer that there is a woman on the human side of the island who  has a deep affection for their king, Orestis,  and a great respect for the merfolk as well. Inasmuch as she sits on the royal council of Orestis, it is decided that perhaps he is wrongly influenced by his other advisors and this woman is able to see the goodness in the king. With the next iteration of the disaster less than a month away, it is decided that Asteria and a companion will travel incognito to the humans’ side of Aster and try to get close enough to Orestis to appeal to his better nature and warn him of what is to come. It won’t be easy and Asteria has not counted on one thing; Falling in love with Orestis.

The author, Marilena Mexi, is as good an artist as she is a story-teller and she has added a series of her works to illustrate the book. No matter how one may feel about the story, the illustrations are worth the price of the book. Those readers who use versions of Amazon’s Kindle that do not support colour would do well to install the company’s Cloud Reader on their PC or MAC so they may fully enjoy these wonderful drawings.

As good a read as Antara may be, the book suffers from its translation from the original Greek to English. While George Maroudis may have done a credible job in translating the story, it should have afterwards been turned over to an editor who is used to working with books in English. As it is, there are typos, dropped letters, dropped words and sentence structures that probably worked well in Greek but less so in English. It is usually my practice to lower my rating on books that are afflicted with an inordinate amount of errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc. as all these sins detract from the pleasure of reading the story; No matter how good or intriguing that story may be. At the end of the day, the execution is just as important as the story itself.

That being said, I will give reducing Antara‘s rating a miss since it was written originally in Greek and the translation to English was done by a friend of the author rather than herself. Other works from other authors will not be as lucky in this regard.

Although I would not count Antara as Young Adult fiction, it is nonetheless YA friendly and could be recommended to older YA’s. While there is some violence in the story line, it is no worse than what is to be found in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Adults who can relate to the fantasy genre will enjoy this book just as much.  Antara is a book that is meant to be enjoyed by all who may read it.

My Rating:

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