Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Between The Sea And Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore


Between The Sea And Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Pages: 240
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: October 25th, 2011
IBSN: 9781599904344

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.

Esmerine is excited to finally be a siren with her sister, Dosinia, protecting the seas together. But on the first day, Dosinia disappears. The two of them always shared a small fascination with the land, but Esmerine would have never guessed her sister would leave her for it. She ventures on land herself in search of her, with the help of the winged boy from her childhood that stopped visiting without warning so many years ago.

Jaclyn Dolamore writes a story reminiscent of a fairy tale, a romance with a soft plot, set in a magical world of mermaids and flying people and the space between.

Dolamore's writing style remains charming, and the tone still perfectly appropriate to the setting. The language had an ethereal, fantasy quality to it; a fairy tale-esque softness and simplicity. But beyond the fantasy aspect, the setting was also historical, and that was clear as well. The setting may have been the most appealing aspect of the story. I was completely taken with the human town that served as a buffer between the two worlds, and the interesting way their lifestyles intertwined.

The romance was sweet, in way childhood friends reuniting, but not with any striking magnitude of chemistry. There was a certain amount of distance between placed between us the characters, but their emotions were still clear, and though becoming truly invested in Esmerine's journey was difficult, she was always a pleasant enough person to read about.

Though, the book-loving theme was inconsequential and a very see-through attempt at increasing relatability. Protagonists who love reading are common, and each time I snort a little in response (I mean, great authors can make me relate to anyone, no matter our differences), but never has it felt as contrived as this time.

Between the Sea and Sky was a very light-hearted romantic fantasy, and though it certainly didn't live up to Magic Under Glass, it was enjoyable and has not taken any excitement away from the upcoming release of Magic Under Stone.

I'd recommend this specifically to fans of YA that also read MG, given the youthful tone and the very simple plot that YA readers accustomed to high-suspense stories may find boring.