Title: Between the Sea and Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren–the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn’t seen since childhood–a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: Between the Sea and Sky is a young adult fantasy that focuses on the life of Esmerine a newly initiated siren that has lost her sister and goes on a journey to find out what has become of her. Along the way, she meets up with a childhood friend and discovers who she really is.
When I first read the summary for this book, I was looking forward to reading a fantasy that merged two worlds together, the sea and the sky. Esmerine is a siren, who does have the ability to walk on land, but it pains her every time she does so. She had a childhood friend, Alandare who is a Fandarsee or winged person. He used to come visit her on the beach, bring her books and taught her how to read and write. She always looked forward to his visits and was crushed when he told her he could not see her anymore. Flash forward to some years later and Esmerine finds herself on a mission, searching for her sister and seeking out Alandare for help. As these two reunite and the book progresses I discovered that this story is much more of a contemporary book with diversity issues rather than a fantasy. I was expecting the conflict to be more action driven when in reality it was an internal struggle for Esmerine and Alandare. The two were trying to decide who they really were and not let their species define them.
I enjoyed Esmerine very much. She grew up before our eyes though the pages of this book and it was interesting to watch her grow into her own personality as she uncovered what she really wanted from life. Alandare on the other hand did rub me the wrong way when we first met him. He is a pompous snob and it was driving me crazy! He works in a bookstore and when people came in to buy books he always tries to push the “right” books into their hands. He thinks that reading fairy tales or fiction is a waste and people should be reading books that only improve their minds. Sorry Alandare, but one of my biggest pet peeves is censorship and I just wanted to reach through the book and throttle you at times. Luckily, when Esmerine finds Alandare and helps out in the store she points out what he is doing and calls him on his rude behavior. When she continually does this he starts to come around, but it still took a while for me to warm up to him.
The plot developed nicely, but the ending happened just a little too quickly. The book is around two hundred thirty pages and I wish more time was taken to wrap things up at the end. It all just came together too fast and too perfectly. I wanted to have more conflict or at least more detail as to how certain events at the end transpired. I cannot say too much without spoiling anything, I just wanted more detail and time put in to the resolution of the story.
Overall I thought this was a good read, but not quite what I was expecting. I liked the story, but I am not in love with it. The message I got out of Between the Sea and Sky is not to let what other people think of you define you. Everyone gets to choose who they want to be and I did love how Jaclyn sent this message out into the world. If you are looking for a contemporary with a fantasy twist, then I would give this a try, otherwise I would check out some other reviews and see what other people think before you buy this book.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC for review.