Born to Protect

The Comeback of
Con MacNeill

Mad Dog & Annie

The Passion of
Patrick MacNeill

The Reforming of
Matthew Dunn

Sea Fever

Immortal Sea
by Virginia Kantra
(Berkley, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-425-23747-2
Immortal Sea focuses on the elemental folklore based on Celtic legends. It is part of a series, and while I was able to follow the plot as a stand-alone book, it did not live up to what I had hoped it would be.

The book first explains that back before time when the elements came to be they formed the children of the sea, the children of the fire, the children of the earth, and the children of the sky. They had all lived in balance, but when humankind was born the elementals retreated, except for the children of fire. Over the years, the children of fire rebelled and grew in strength. The children of the sea, however, the merfolk (selkie and finfolk), weakened in numbers and their association with humankind became unavoidable, in order to survive.

Elizabeth Ramsey is 22 years old and is taking a last chance break in Copenhagen before the rigorous start of medical school. She finds herself in the alley behind a nightclub surrounded by three questionable men. Liz tries to walk away, but the men follow her and force her to stop. As she gears up to defend herself, darkness churns around her and attacks the three men.

Morgan Bressay is finfolk and warden of the northern seas. He does not usually interfere with the human world, but feels the fight is unfair, so he steps in to help. Liz is gracious and while she doesn’t know Morgan, feels she can trust him. Liz asks Morgan to walk her to a more crowded area of town so she can find her way back to her hotel safely. Morgan reluctantly agrees and while they are walking, Morgan senses Liz’s sexual attraction to him. He leads her to a closed off citadel where they give into the attraction and make love. Liz doesn’t even know Morgan and her behavior is way out of the norm, but she has never felt so free and so full.

Fast forward 16 years later and Liz is now a widowed doctor with two children, Zack age 15 and Emily age 7. They have just moved to World’s End, Maine in an attempt to start over. Zack has been getting into a lot of trouble and they are all still mournful of their husband and father’s death just three years prior. Morgan also finds himself in World’s End, forced to accompany the sea lord, Conn, to the baptism of his consort’s niece. Morgan starts to realize that a closer alliance with humankind, as some merfolk have already done, may ensure their survival.

While outside the church, Morgan watches as a scrawny teenager is approached by some local boys who start bullying him. He fights back and Morgan notices that the teenager has more strength than one would expect. When Liz drives by and stops to pick up her son Zack, Morgan remembers Liz and their night together 16 years ago. He suddenly realizes that Zack may be his son.

Morgan is determined to find out if Zack has the gift of the finfolk and he is determined to be a part of Zack’s life in order to do that. Liz does not want Morgan to enter their life, but her elemental attraction to him is undeniable.

Immortal Sea starts off strong and develops the plot well, but half way through the book the story line weakens and it took a lot of effort to finish this book. Liz’s character was believable, but Morgan’s character didn’t quite make sense in the relationship and even though there was a happy ending, I was not convinced there was love involved.

The children of fire join the plot and are supposed to add the suspense elements, but it didn’t feel there was any anticipation or tension in the story. The secondary characters have a story line of their own, and while the book didn’t go into detail, it was a challenge to keep track of them. This may be where the previous books of the series would have been important to know.

I did like the style of the writing in that the author had frequent breaks in the book, which would change the point of view. Even if the story was in the middle of a scene, it would switch the viewpoint to give another character’s perspective.

If you’re invested in the series, you would perhaps enjoy Immortal Sea book, but I just wasn’t able to feel dedicated through the entire book.

--Nichole Howell

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