94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
For some reason, we were expecting a cute little story about a cute little mermaid girl who swims around the ocean with her cute little seahorse friend, solving cute little mysteries. Instead, we got something much deeper and much more adult! This book is intense, action-packed, and even violent!
This novel develops from a murder mystery into a multi-layed romance. From there, it then evolves into an intense action-adventure/fantasy tale involving mythical creatures who are after each other's throats. This all goes down with a very hot, very attractive, and very desirable human female caught in the middle of it!
Speaking of whom, this book follows Vivienne Griffin, a very hot, very attractive, very desirable young woman who comes to Savannah, Georgia to marry Jesse Leighton, the heir to the Leighton estate. But little do Vivienne and Jesse know that their town is about to become the focus of several brutal, violent, and mysterious murders.
And little do Vivienne and Jesse know know that they're about to get entangled in a love-triangle that becomes a love-square, that becomes a love-rectangle, that becomes a love-hexagon; that morphs into a love-cube, that morphs into a love-pyramid, that morphs into a love-sphinx. Only, unlike most love-triangles, everyone seems really cool with the others. Ok, almost everyone.
But going back to the plot, since that's clearly what everyone bought the book for (right?)...
For some reason, Savannah, Georgia is the center of the universe, a gateway between humankind and an aquatic, eternally-damned, demonic race known as the kelpie. Ok, they might be damned, but they're not entirely demonic. The kelpie are more like horse-people, or werewolves who—instead of becoming wolf-people—become horse-people. And, instead of being like horses (galloping and frolicking over land), they're more like giant fish or sea-dragons.
As you might have guessed, the kelpie are the monsters behind the brutal, violent deaths of people throughout Savannah.
The kelpie are powerful, frightening, and blood-thirsty, but they're not all bad, and they're not all evil.
In fact, one kelpie named Eelus is actually friendly and kind. Eelus, while distrusting humans like other kelpies do, has a soft spot for them. In particular, he gains a liking and admiration for Vivienne because she's hot, attractive, and desirable. Ok, well, that's not the only reason. Vivienne has something huge in her chest:
Vivienne does, in fact, have a huge heart (in addition to her huge tracts of land). Vivienne is sweet, caring, and compassionate. She doesn't want anyone to suffer, even horse monsters who eat people for sustenance.
Vivienne understands that there's always two sides to every story. Not all humans are good, and not all kelpie are bad. In fact, a lot of how the kelpies feel is somewhat justified. They were captured and abused in ancient times, sometimes even beaten to death for sport. In exchange for a semblance of freedom and autonomy, the kelpie were cursed by an alpha-kelpie known as Droch, arguably the main villain of the series.
Droch's actions made humans and kelpies permanent enemies, like oil and water. The only person powerful enough to stop Droch is another alpha named Lochin, who is kinda like an arch-angel in this book.
Lochin, too, gains a liking to Vivienne because of the giant thing in her chest. He gives her a magical coat and leaves her with marks on her chest that connect them like a plug to a wall socket... or like free McDonald's Wi-Fi to your laptop.
The primary and most active villain in this book, Bleeder, is after Lochin, and he constantly threatens and menaces Vivienne to force her to give Lochin up to him. In fact, Bleeder threatens to kill humans every day until Vivienne gives up Lochin.
Bleeder is an absolute creep, and he's quite an effective villain. For some crazy reason, Vivienne feels sympathy for him, even after he kills and tries to kill numerous people, including her loved ones. This really got us rolling our eyes.
The central relationship in this book is actually between Vivienne and Eelus. The scene in which they bond and “swim” together (although it seems more like flying) is arguably the best scene in the book. At this point, Vivienne is able to control Eelus, but refuses to do so. Eelus could probably kill and eat Vivienne, but refuses to do so. There's a powerful mutual respect between them.
Oh, yeah, there's also a teenage boy in this book named Michael who's in this book for some reason, but no one really cares about him. And no one really cares about Jesse either. He's like the rich jerk from Titanic, you kinda just want him to go away.
What we did care about was the relationship between Vivienne, Eelus, and Lochin, as well as the bloody, thrilling conflict between the humans and kelpie.
One last thing is that this book is surprisingly well-written, above and beyond what we normally read in these genres.
Check it out on Amazon!