Book: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson
Series: Marina's Tales #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Young Adult
Buy A Copy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble /
Available Formats: Ebook
Publication Date: March 19th, 2011
First Sentence: "My father often said that there were times in life when your personal happiness was of little consequence, and you needed to make a sacrifice for the greater good."
How Did I Get This Book: From Author, For Review
Description: Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small 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 only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.
Between The Land And The Sea is the first book in the series "Marina's Tales". Her story continues on in book two, The Moon And The Tide.
Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson is an exciting and thrilling young adult mermaid story. Surprisingly, I haven’t read that many books on these particular supernatural creatures, so I was looking forward to diving into the story.
Marina is a strong heroine who prides herself on being independent. Sometimes her closed-off nature gets her into trouble, because she doesn’t want to burden others with her problems. Like all good characters, Marina isn’t perfect. She has flaws, but tries to work through them. I certainly wouldn’t say that she is over her independent streak by the end of Between the Land and the Sea, I expect it is something she will struggle with throughout the whole of the series.
This being a young adult romance book of sorts, Marina’s relationship with Ethan takes up a lot of the book. However, it doesn’t overwhelm the story. There are plenty of other plotlines that keep the romance from taking over things. Plus, their relationship develops at a reasonable pace. Marina doesn’t throw herself at Ethan and Ethan earns her trust over a period of time. They also have ups and downs, which keeps things realistic. After all, these are teenagers – moods swings, hormones and all.
As far as the secondary characters go, there were some I loved and some that were just so-so. Abby, Marina’s aunt felt very familiar to me, she reminded me of a lot of my friend’s mother. She was a bit offbeat and incredibly kind. However, Marina’s cousin and his best friend fell a bit flat for me. I felt like they were one-dimensional and they did not really make a big impression on me. I also felt like at times Cruz’s (Marina’s cousin) storyline pulled the focus off of Marina’s. Cruz’s storyline certainly had a different tone than Marina’s and it disrupted the flow of the book.
Another element of the story that kind of threw me off was the sheer perfection of Marina’s world. At times things were just too difficult to believe – and I don’t mean her aquatic heritage. Marina was just too perfect – she’s a brilliant, beautiful globetrotting teen who has a wildly successful father (he wins a Nobel peace prize) and an unbelievably rich “Aunt” who lives to dote on her with lavish gifts - I am talking about prada, Gucci and sports cars. Then, her cousin, Cruz, is supposedly this undeniably talented teen fashion designer (who Aunt Evie takes under her wing). I just think that Marina’s real world is too far-fetched. These portions of her life are supposed to be rooted in reality and I just can’t say that I bought it. The unrealistic aspects of her life certainly affected the overall feel of the story and I think that to a point, it hindered it.
That being said, I did enjoy the fantastic portion of Marina’s life and things that directly pertained to it. I thought that her relationships with and reactions to the mermaids were incredibly intriguing. I don’t want to give plot points away, but things get dark and dangerous and I thought Anderson did a great job with the pacing. That’s why I had a hard time with the “realistic” portions of the book – they created a light, fluffy tone, when I much preferred the darker feel of the mythical side to the story.
Although I had a few issues with the book, I really did enjoy Between the Land and the Sea. Marina was an interesting character who is forced to deal with some very exciting and complicated challenges. Ethan was a decent love interest and I cannot wait to see their relationship develop further. The book had a few pacing errors, but when it was solely focused on Marina’s storyline the pacing was spot on. I am looking forward reading the sequel, I cannot wait to see where Anderson takes things from here. This was definitely a great start to a series!
“I looked pale and fierce, like a Gothic rock and roll vampire. I kinda liked it.”
“Ah, very good match,” said Lue, shrewdly looking between me and Ethan, “Earth and water.”
“It was going to let my freak flag fly.”
“I was a half-mermaid hybrid, but he was only human after all.”
“I hugged him impulsively, and felt his body tense up. I pulled away, feeling awkward, when he gathered me back into him tightly, wrapping his arms around me like a cloak.”
“His face felt rough against mine, and his hair smelled like salt water. I wanted to crawl into bed and wrap myself around him, as if I could somehow protect him.”
“Evie always said that we possess the power to decide whether to simply be victims of fate or masters of our own destiny.”
“I was crying, filled with unbearable sorrow, and it occurred to me that the whole ocean was made up of salty tears.”
“I think crazy runs in the family.”
“He tucked me into bed and turned out the lights. He settled down next to me on top of the covers. “Sleep,” he said, throwing his arm across me, “I won’t let you go.”
“At that moment I knew that he loved me too, and that I had just broken his heart.”