I am catching up on my summer reading list and dove into Between the Sea and Stars by Chantal Gadoury. To be fair, I started reading this before it was published but had to put all my reading on hold (sadly) to finish some strict edit deadlines. I couldn’t wait to get back into this novel, and I am so glad I was finally able to pick it back up again. Haven’t ordered it yet? You can order it here!
Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea.
When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land.
With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner.
Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?
I give this 4/5 stars
The world building below (and above) the surface was gorgeous – but the descriptions of the characters and their world under the sea just made my heart so happy. Chantal always immerses me into her worlds with her lyrical descriptions. I really loved the slow romance between Lena and Soren – it felt so real. Their walk along the beach talking really felt the most raw to me and was my favorite part of the story (my heart was begging them to kiss. KISS THE GIRL DAMMIT!). I still don’t fully understand Jace’s character. I wonder if he has a bit more darkness or is under some sort of magical influence – I’m a little worried about him and hope we learn more and maybe he turns out to better than what I think he is in book 2.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars was the beginning started a little slow for me, I wanted a bit more action within the first chapter or two. Things picked up around chapters 5-7. And Lena’s naïvetés really bothered me in a few sections while under the sea. I understood it when she got on land – but a few scenes under the sea felt a bit off for me. Then the story slowed down around the middle a little, but it picked right back up again about 3/4’s of the way through and I couldn’t put it down!
I really can’t wait for book 2! That ending was like WHHHHHAAATTTTT? Chantal has a fantastical way of retelling fairytales that stick with you. I really do recommend this book – it is the perfect summer read!