Saturday, April 1, 2017

Updrift by Errin Stevens

Title: Updrift (The Mer Chronicles book 1)
Author: Errin Stevens
Rating: 4 Stars
Authors Blurb: For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water.
Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.
Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.

So, this book starts slow... Like ridiculously slow. Like so much so that I kind of stopped reading it in favor of other books like 3 times during the first 10 chapters. Now that sounds harsh but see here is the thing, somewhere around the end of part 1 beginning of part 2 that slow tone completely changes and this turns into a really exciting and interesting read.
I won't lie to you, I wanted to like this book from the beginning. I am one of those little girls that never recovered from her first viewing of Disney's The Little Mermaid. I have pretty much been obsessed with the idea of beautiful colorful Mer-people swimming around in the ocean somewhere for as long as I can remember. Admittedly this probably gave me pretty high expectations going in. Knowing this I tried really hard to give Updrift the benefit of the doubt all through part one. All through the seemingly endless backstory of Kate Sweetings life with her mother Cara. The tireless ways that she filled her time, first as a child with a sad mom and a couple of nice best friends and then as a teenager forced to spend way too much time on school and work and none on social interactions in a weird push from her parental figures that Kate never questioned even when she expressed mild distain for it. The author took the idea of telling one story to set up another a little too far if you ask me. I honestly think I could have had the entire part one of this book summed up in 2-3 chapters and been totally happy and invested enough in the characters to add context to the next parts of the story. Also I probably could have done without anything Will and Dana related, not that they were terrible uninteresting characters just that they seemed kind of pointless... like filler in a book that needed absolutely no help with additional content.
HOWEVER. I really need to emphasis this, by the time part one ended and part two began I was hooked by this book.
I mean really I can kind of pinpoint the moment that turned it around for me. It was when Gabe pulls Kate into the water and begins the swim to Shaddox. From that first instant, when she screams his name out at the sea without even knowing why, I knew I couldn't turn away from this book.
I loved every single fantastical element of this book. I loved the way the author played with Mermaid/Siren lore and myth. I loved the colorful description and the way the reader was truly drawn into the experiences of swimming with these creatures and seeing them in their natural habitat. I LOVED the villain of this story. I loved the way he was introduced (which admittedly was in that slow part one of the story that I talked of and I thought pretty much nothing of it at the time) I loved his backstory and the overall themes of the importance of family that permeates this entire story.
Really it's kind of surreal how much I loved the last two parts of this book in comparison to my feelings over the beginning. What makes it even weirder for me is that I totally see what the author was trying to do by giving us so many details up front (many of which come back up in one way or another later on). I can see that she wanted you to know and care about these people before things started moving fast and getting intense. I respect the storytelling abilities of the author, this is easily one of the most well developed books I have read in a really long time.
I think in the end I have to say that I enjoyed this book because anything else would be untrue. I may have been a bit less than enthused in the beginning but really the moment that switch flipped I was definitely 100% in and by the last page I was totally experiencing all the feels this wild ride of a story wanted to make me feel.
In fact I have already began trying to find other people to read this one because I feel like I need someone to talk about it with...if that doesn't mean it was a good book I don't know what does.

If you want to be one of those people just follow the link below and get your own copy.
Updrift by Errin Stevens

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