Tuesday 13 August 2013

Water by Natasha Hardy

Surrender to the power of the water... Alex knows she is different. She’s plagued by nightmares that feel shockingly real and an intense restlessness she cannot explain. As the long hot summer holidays stretch before her, Alex seeks out adventure in the rugged mountains of Injasuthi. But during a camping trip to the mystic jade pools, Alex meets Merrick, a boy who tells her the shocking truth about herself, and Alex's nightmare is about to become reality. Because Alex is no ordinary teenager...she is a half-mermaid and her adventures are only just beginning.

It’s great when a story starts off with a gripping prologue that gives you the bare minimum of information that leaves you with lots of questions and propels you to read more.

Water starts with a tribe running away. They are running from their potential fates of being enslaved or killed. But there are more tribes running away than expected and they are being led into the perfect trap without realising it.

We are then introduced to Alex, who is surfacing from a nightmare where she is drowning and she can’t get to her brother Brent. It is a recurring nightmare and one that constantly reminds her of that fateful day when Brent drowns in the pool.

An overheard conversation leads Alex to question what her Dad was talking about. She asks Luke who tells her to ask Josh; Josh is furious that she has asked. He says they are not allowed to talk about it, but ends up telling them. It is a mysterious story of their tribe years ago. They were betrayed by their own chief  to the slavers who had heard of the women's extraordinary beauty. After weeks of fighting they were cornered between their enemies, a cliff face and a might waterfall. But when it looked like the mountain people were lost to their enemies, they disappeared. There were many theories of what happened to them, one of them being that they became fish people.

Alex, Luke and Josh decide to lie to their parents and go in search of this waterfall to see if the theory is true. What Alex is about to discover will drastically change her life. Here she meets Merrick who introduces her to a whole underwater world  that she is a part of. Alex has a great destiny that she must fulfil.

I did like this story. Mermaids are a favourite paranormal creature of mine, so was excited to read Water. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but I think it may have been something different to this storyline. It was an interesting premise don’t get me wrong, but there were bits that I liked and bits that I wasn’t so sure about.

I wasn’t so keen on the main protagonist, Alex. She seemed to cry quite a lot and it annoyed me when she took so long to trust Merrick. I did however really like Merrick. He was extremely likeable and definitely a rock for Alex. I also liked that there were different tribes within the underwater world, each of them being different in some way.

It was great that the story was set in Africa as this gave it a little bit of an edge and I have only read one other book set there. The descriptions were amazing, and I could picture it really well. Also when the author was describing the different mermaids this definitely held my attention as the detail was so well written.

I think the pace of the book could have been a lot faster as I think it took a bit too long for the reader to get to the main part of the story with the mermaids; I would have liked to have spent more time there. Also it took a while before the author revealed who the main protagonist was. I know it says in the blurb that it is Alex but her name isn't mentioned until we are a little far in.

We are left with a bit of a cliffhanger so we know that there is more to come and I will still be looking out for the next in the series.

Overall I did enjoy it, but I think it could have been better if it was faster paced. Still, a great debut from Natasha Hardy!


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