Sea Spell (Waterfire Saga #4)
As we join the Serafina, Astrid, Ava, Becca, Ling, and Neela in SEA SPELL, they are finishing their quests from previous books and gathering for the final battle against the forces that destroyed Atlantis. Serafina, Becca, Ling, and Neela are in the Black Fin Resistance camp plotting and planning—and dealing with spies, self doubt, and love as they do. Ava and Astrid have taken on challenges of their own to retrieve items that are necessary for the battle to come.
I don’t usually like to start a series anywhere but with the first book, but I received SEA SPELL from the publisher, and without the time to start the series from the beginning, I dove in and immediately immersed myself in the story. Fortunately, Donnelly writes well and manages to incorporate backstory into SEA SPELL without weighing down the narrative, so it’s possible to join the mermaids mid-series and not miss a beat.
SEA SPELL has a fast paced plot, and the character and world building aspects are woven seamlessly into it. The books are geared toward girls age 12 and up, and although published by Disney, and despite the mermaid princess characters, Donnelly doesn’t shy away from the ugliness of battle and the nastiness of political intrigue. Her novel is stronger for that.
Another positive aspect of the Waterfire Saga is the broad range of main female characters. Every girl who reads the books should be able to find a mermaid with whom to identify—in fact, the Waterfire Saga website has a “Which Mermaid Are You?” quiz through which readers can identify their closest match. (I’m Astrid!) There are love stories for some of the mermaids incorporated into the story, but those aren’t the focus as these strong young women acknowledge the impact their love has on their emotions, but power through what needs to be done without being distracted by impracticalities. As the mother of a daughter, I appreciated that aspect of the storyline.
I highly recommend SEA SPELL for a variety of reasons, the main one being Jennifer Donnelly’s ability to write a strong adventure story.
My thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Strong female characters