Rating: 3 stars
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When the loss of control of his magic results in a disastrous event, Elliot turns to his sister for peace and solace until it all blows over. At least he hopes it blows over. After traveling through a particularly nasty storm, Elliot finally makes it to his sister’s house and comes face to face with her new assistant, Rue. Fighting his ever unstable wild magic, Elliot notices it calms when he’s with Rue, but he doesn’t know what that means.
Rue is determined to help Elliot and provide the friendship that Elliot needs, but he keeps part of himself closed off no matter how Elliot tries to help him open up. When a young boy washes up on shore and Elliot saves him with Rue’s help, Rue gives away part of his secret. He’s a selkie, a magical, mythical seal shifter. It’s that magic that calms Elliot.
As Elliot’s feelings for Rue grow stronger and more confusing, he is saddened when Rue turns him down, but also content to keep the only true friend he’s known in a while. When the Wizard’s Council drops their verdict in Elliot’s lap, he and Rue join together to fight for Elliot’s future, for his magic, and maybe even for their love.
Here’s the thing. This story was okay. Its concept was good, just poorly executed. I like the originality of the story, the uniqueness and feel of it, but on the flip side, I’m not a fan of this author’s writing. I was bored more often than not and the writing itself is very telling and not enough showing. But before I get into all of that, let me tell you what worked for me.
This story is set in a little English town that I could easily picture. I’m in love with the lighthouse, the townsfolk, Elliot’s sister, and the little bookstore. I liked the contrast in attitude in this story as well, the prejudices and how rumor can affect any number of people, whether magical or racial, or whatever. This story displays an important lesson in how the town treats Elliot after his blunder, what they think of him, and what they say to his face and behind his back. It also shows the effects the hurtful words and acts have on the intended. It’s sad, but eye opening.
I liked Elliot and Rue well enough, but lord, the back and forth, the lack of communication, and the mixed signals got really old after a while. When they weren’t pining over one another, Elliot was talking about how afraid he was of being with a man. It was okay for a while, but then I was over it and ready to move on. Apparently the characters weren’t though because it lasted nearly the entire length of the book. Then suddenly they were ready to start a relationship. It was just odd and I didn’t like it.
This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I’m finding more and more that I’m not a fan of the storytelling. It’s very plain and simple and lacks emotion. I found myself bored more than once and that was disappointing. Maybe it’s me, but I just couldn’t get into this book.
So overall this story was okay, but I didn’t love it and I definitely wouldn’t pick it up again on a rainy day.
Cover: One thing I did love about this book is this cover by Maria Fanning. It’s very vibrant and eye catching. In fact, it was the first thing that attracted me to this story. It’s a very beautiful cover.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.