Legasea by Krystalyn Drown
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: January 28th 2013
Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Aileen Shay sees a dead girl floating in the bay during a midnight yacht party, she never imagines Jamie Flannigan, her new boyfriend, may be involved. The only thing she knows about Jamie is that he personifies the one thing she has been drawn to her entire life – the ocean. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes he knows more about the murder than he’s telling. When another girl is attacked, and Jamie refuses to answer her questions, Aileen searches for answers on her own.
Aileen learns that Jamie’s family belongs more to myths and legends than they do in the real world. They are selkies, and after the Flannigans threaten her family, Aileen suspects they are responsible for both attacks.
But they aren’t the only ones in her small fishing town who can keep a secret. As Aileen uncovers the truth about the murder, the selkies, and her own family, she learns why her soul is bonded to the sea. But with that revelation comes a choice – to permanently sever her connection with the water, which comes at a painful cost, or embrace a legacy that just might get her killed.
I find it hard to write this review of Legasea. I believe that Legasea is a beautifully written and unique debut that deserves to be read by many. There are so many things that Legasea excels in, but there is one thing that kept the book from being the best it could be.
One of the things that make Legasea so unique is the chosen mythology for the story. Drown chose to write about a very underrated legend: the Selkies. Creatures that live as seals, swimming in the ocean, but when they shed their skin they become human. Such an interesting concept but not many author use it. But Drowning chose to write about the Selkies and she writes then amazingly well. The beauty and mystery that I always thought the Selkies had was in Drown’s Selkies also. That made me very, very happy.
Aileen is a character that is easy to connect to. She is a girl that has to deal with the troubles of everyday life as well as trying to come to terms with the fact that she is different than most people. She is a smart, determined girl that makes good choices for herself most of the time, but there are the times when she doesn’t do what her heart tells her to do and makes poor choices because of that. She felt real to me. Her narration felt real, comfortable which only made her feel more real.
The side characters were also written fairly well. The most remarkable group being Aileen’s family and Jamie. I found Aileen’s family to be very easy to understand and their struggles truly bothered me as if I was experiencing those struggles myself. Jamie is one of those “mysterious” love interest but he was also very sweet even though he is a bit misleaded sometimes.
Drown’s prose is nothing short of excellent. It felt sincere to me, as if the words just came out naturally on the paper. The writing captures the quiet beauty of the ocean and the landscapes around it wonderfully well. Some passages, like the one below, even felt lyrical to me.
“Off in the distance, the black outlines of dozens of rock islands dotted the bay, like shadow puppets posing in front of the star-filled sky.”(Pulled from an advance copy.)
The mystery is a great mystery. There are a lot suspects to choose from and many, many twist. I never knew where many of the characters stood. It kept me guessing and on my toes. The big reveal was done very well and it made my mouth drop!
Unfortunately, despite all the good things Legasea has within itself there is one thing that bothered me: some of the smaller events that took place in the book felt awkward when fitted with the main events. But that’s just me. Some people may find nothing wrong with this events. In fact, they might even find those events fitting. I just didn’t.
Legasea is a book that is a breath of fresh air. Filled with originality and mystery, this book will not be forgotten by me. I will keep this story with Selkies in my mind. I hope you decide to invite this story into your mind also 🙂
*An advance copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley