Marina's Tales by Derrolyn Anderson

This is a double review and features books 1 and 2 of the YA series Marina's Tales. My apologies for posting it so late, meant to have it up Friday, but life got in the way and here we are 1½ days later and I'm nursing a hangover and a sunburn.

Between the Land and the Sea

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.

With the exception of some goofy films here and there I haven't seen or read anything mermaid related since HC Andersen's tale of the Little Mermaid (Danish, by the way) and Disney's much more child-friendly version. Between the Land and the Sea was a very sweet return to the mermaid genre and works really well as a YA book about a girl who comes to face with her own identity and despite the very generic Goodreads summary, the love story in it is very sweet and believable. It's not all sticky sweetness though, not at all, there's both action and adventure beautifully woven into the threads as Marina steps into character.

Marina's discovery of her mermaid ancestry is quite gripping and her way of dealing with it as well as finally being in a proper school surrounded by people her age after years of travelling with her dad, was enjoyable to follow. Though a bit too easy, the friendships seem genuine and I grew to care about all the main characters.

Marina is in many ways your typical heroine; she's good and selfless, loyal and brave - sometimes to a fault. Her sidekicks Megan and Cruz are both enjoyable and though they aren't delved much further into, I came to like them. Ethan is a steaming hot hunk of *ahem*... Ethan is really nice too.The characters are a tiny bit too generic, the main ones each being amazing in his or her field of interest, but overall the story and their places in it works out very well.

The take on the mermaids was great. I loved how feral they were, so untouched by the oblivious humans, albeit some of them might feel the lure of a mortal life with all its ups and downs.

All in all, as the plot graph below also shows the story had me hooked all the way through and it was a quick but very enjoyable read. I don't think mermaids will become the new vampire black, but so much the better. The ending was predictably sweet and very much left me wanting to read on.

261 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

The Moon and the Tide

Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.
A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?


Marina's tales #2, The Moon and the Tide, picks up the story shortly after we left it in the first book and despite a slightly rocky start I was soon fully engrossed in it yet again.

I had a few misgivings in the first book but they were mostly explained and eradicated in the second. It carries on the story of Marina coming to grips with her ancestry and who she is and what she can expect and it holds a substantial larger amount of action than the first book. Like the first book though there is still a heavy amount of surfing and though I wouldn't know one end of surfboard from the other Anderson manages to describe the sport so well that I can easily imagine the water, the colours and the pure energy.

My one pet peeve is Ethan whom I just don't like. I can't put a finger on it precisely, he's just too protective, too soppy, too sweet and too much (but maybe I'm just a bitter old crone ;)

I really enjoyed the book and will recommend it to all that enjoy YA literature and would like a great series with a great handle on mermaids, the sea and a strong capable heroine. I truly can't wait to get my hands on the third book in the series, The Fate of the Muse, which is expected in the summer of 2011.

327 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of both books


  1. I like mermaid stories, much more interesting than werewolves/zombies!

  2. You should definitely read this one then, Sam :D

  3. Ha! I loved your take on these books. It's been a long time since I've come across anything mermaid related. These sound like fun reads :)


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