Shearwater Part One by Derek Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Clara loses both her parents in a tragic accident, she is sent to live in Ireland with a grandfather she never knew she had. Struggling to cope with loss and a totally new school system, she distracts herself by trying to find out more about her mother and why she left this little vacation town. But Branna Daly's secrets may be more dangerous than Clara suspects. They're reaching out to her from beyond the grave and Clara must find out what they are, if she is in danger, and if yes, and who from?
Shearwater Part One loses a star for a stupid, obvious reason: It's only part one
Derek Murphy plunges you into Clara Clark's world - a world that navigates loss, uncertainty, mystery and wonder - and just as you're hoping he'll take you further into the wonder, you look at the bottom of your kindle, see remaining time of 2 minutes, completion of like 99% and think "darnit... if I turn the page, this story is going to end and I'M GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT PART!!"
Which you do, but at least you knew that before going in because the title blatantly states "Part One". Anyway.
To be honest, Shearwater is a classic coming-of-age story. Part of me totally enjoyed it, even whilst my writer-brain was going "and this will happen, and there- see, I knew it". If you're looking for an exceptionally new storyline, you won't get it. There's an element of predictability to the story, so readers will either love it (because they love YA anyway) or hate it (because it's the same ol' same ol'). Murphy plays with tropes and cliches - the budding love triangle, the mysterious bad boy that the girl can't resist, strange new powers she can't control, girl does stupid things she knows she shouldn't, girl gets saved, oh, and let's remake a mythical creature into something new and play around with mythology... an evil part of me says that it's almost Twilight minus annoying Bella.
But whilst I thought of Twilight as an extremely fascinating trainwreck, I'm curious to know where Murphy will take Clara in Part Two and what wonderful discovery - and dangers - awaits our lovely protagonist.
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Shearwater launched yesterday (or today, depending on where you are in the time-continuum *waves from the future*) and is available for $0.99 on Amazon. All earnings during launch week will be donated for ocean conservancy and to protect marine wildlife (Derek says that here!) so I'd say that's a pretty good use for your money.
And if you're short of money, it will be free on Jan 28th...
There's also a mermaid giveaway happening!