Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her… and maybe even find true love along the way. -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts: Series like Marina’s Tales are exactly why more people should give Self-Published and Indie published authors a chance. When I found out about it – a series about mermaids – I knew I wanted to read it because to my recollection I’ve never read any mermaid stories before. Great call, Asheley! Between The Land And The Sea is the first book in the series and I loved it.
Let’s talk about why you should add Between The Land And The Sea to your to-be-read list:
1. The Characters. There are a ton of characters in this book, and they are all incredible, well-developed, and three-dimensional. They are all people I would want to know. It would take up too much space to list the things I love about them all, but I’ll tell you about the main characters:
- Marina. After growing up wealthy and privileged in San Francisco, she moves to Aptos while her father works abroad. There, she lives with cousin Cruz and Aunt Abby in a very small house. Marina never knew her mother but was ‘mothered’ by Aunt Evie, the eccentric and famous lady next door that loved to lavish her with expensive gifts. While in Aptos, Marina discovers she has a love for the ocean and comes to realize this is because she is part-mermaid. She also falls in love with Ethan.
- Ethan. Handsome, tanned, working-class boy who becomes Marina’s love interest. He surfs. He works hard and has goals. He’s patient and kind and protective. Loved him.
For so many of the characters to be high-schoolers, they are all so believable. They are going through what high-school age people go through, they aren’t overly mature, they don’t speak overly adult-like. Ethan has a good head on his shoulders and his patience and level-headedness balanced out Marina’s girlish emotion and occasional bad decisions. And the adults, particularly Aunt Abby and Ethan’s father, were wonderfully believable as well. Only Aunt was outlandish – but that was written into her character and there’s a reason for it. Great, great set of characters.
2. The Setting. Aptos. I want to move there. Not only is the town described well but the description of the houses, the farmer’s market, and the shore are equally great. I’ve spoken before of how sometimes, to me, settings can be like characters — Aptos seems to be very fleshed out, if that is even possible. I love my own real-life proximity to the ocean, but I still found myself wanting to live in a place like Aptos.
3. The Mermaids. I’m new to this area of the paranormal. The mermaids are fascinating to me. Beautiful, with their own language, and their skin glowed in the water! Oh, and they communicated with animals! They were also very protective over Marina, which came in handy for her a few times when she was clumsy or made some bad decisions. These same mermaids seem to have some sort of strong pull over Marina that always led her toward the ocean, which was a little fascinating and mysterious and strange…I had to keep reading because I had no idea where this would end up. What a payoff, though.
4. The Romance. I love this romance. There is no triangle because Marina and Ethan have eyes only for each other the entire time! Theirs is the very definition of a slow-burn, and it was so lovely to read. I personally enjoyed the scenes between Marina and Ethan more than I did the scenes with the mermaids, but this is undoubtedly because Ethan is so doggone charming.
5. Surfing. I know pretty much nothing about surfing, despite loving the ocean so much. But there’s plenty of surfing in this book and I thought it was neat.
I know I’m sounding repetitive, but this story was so much fun to read. It is definitely a romance but with the mermaid element, there is definitely some extra supernatural spunk. I didn’t really know what to expect, as it was my first mermaid book, but I really loved the story and once I finished it I started book two fairly quickly.
Author Derrolyn Anderson has put together a strong series opener with Between The Land And The Sea. The characters, the setting, and the romance are all written incredibly well. If you’re a fan of Indie authors, I’d love to introduce you to Marina’s Tales. If you are a fan of mermaid stories, these are incredible. If you love slow-burning romance, you’ll love Ethan! If you’re a fan of the ocean in any way, you’ll find something in this book that you’ll love. Between The Land And The Sea is age-appropriate and will be enjoyed by YA readers as well as adults.
an interview with Derrolyn Anderson with a HUGE GIVEAWAY!!
**I received a review copy from the author, Derrolyn Anderson , in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you so much, Derrolyn!
To be honest, the homeschool bit makes me nervous. Although I am glad to hear that it is believable.
I've never read any mermaid books books! Maybe this is the place to start.
It is the place to start! And to be honest, Jac, Derrolyn Anderson is giving away the entire trilogy and some additional copies of this first book here on this blog. So make sure you come back tomorrow to enter that giveaway if you're interested. I really enjoyed reading it. It was my first mermaid story too, and I have sought out more since I finished with it. 😉
Um. No love triangle plus a slow burn romance? DONE! Love that:) I haven't read too many stories that feature mermaids either, though there seem to be more and more coming out now which I'm excited about. Thanks for sharing your typically brilliant review Asheley, this one is going on my list!
Thanks Jenny! I really enjoyed it and the two books that followed it. They're fun and clean and suspenseful and that romance just gets me every time… 😉
Just recently tried a book by a self-pub I believe, and I really liked it.. so I'm trying to give them more of a chance.
Oh my, yay to the Mermaids. I love Mermaids. I used to make my grandmother crochet mermaid tails for my barbies so they could swim in the pool. Ahh, that was many may years ago.
Surprisingly, with my mini mermaid obsession, I have only read one mermaid book. And really, that didn't count because you barely even got to see the mermaid. I will definitely give this one a shot… thanks for reminding me of my fish people love. <3 lol
Haha to your mermaid story! That is awesome! There are actually two books after this one and another due to come out later this year. I am featuring the two subsequent books on my newest blog post, so check those out too. I think you'll like this series FOR SURE if you like mermaids because they are all over the place in here!
And as far as self-pubs go, luckily I've had great experiences, but I am very careful to read on a case-by-case basis and not just any person who throws their book at me…that doesn't usually work out for the self-pub/indie nor me. Yay for trying out the indies, April! You kinda rock for that!
Bad experiences with self-published books have left me slightly hesitant to pick up another, but your enthusiasm is contagious! I've yet to read a mermaid series and the non-love triangle makes it even better.
Also, that cover! I haven't seen many self-published covers I like, but this one is lovely. It reminds me of middle grade books I loved when I was younger. More books should have pretty illustrations!
Hi Leah! I've heard of people saying they've had bad experiences with self-pubs before and I hate that! Like I said to April (above), I've had great experiences, but I am very careful to make sure I'm fitting myself and the author together. It is a little bit risky sometimes, but I've had great luck and this is a perfect example of one of those cases. This author has been so wonderful to work with and her books are really fantastic too…very well edited with nice covers. Great total package.
Speaking of the covers…make sure you look at the following two books which are featured in the next blog post (books two and three in the series) … they have great covers as well. 🙂
Thanks for the vote of confidence and all of your kind words. I hope there are lots of entries for the giveaway!
Hi Derrolyn! I've enjoyed this series so much! My interview and giveaway post is up as well as the mini-reviews for books two and three, so hopefully there will be lots of entries! Thanks so much for everything. This series is really fantastic!!
I enjoyed reading your review and your thoughts on the characters and the overall story.
I love your review! I'm excited to read this book now 🙂
I've recently discovered some indie authors who are amazing, and I really wish them the best of luck. Thanks for sharing!