Friday, March 22, 2013

Monstrous beauty

by Elizabeth Fama

Hester is a modern teenager who lives with the belief that for generations love and death have been bound together within her family.  Scientifically, there seems to be no proof, but she knows the safest choice is to avoid love.  Then she is drawn to Ezra who seems to have knowledge of her family's past.

Woven around Hester's story is one from another era.  This is the love story of a young man and the mermaid Syrenka.  Syrenka's kind are not understood by most humans.  The bond between the two appears destined for tragedy.

The reader begins the story quickly bonded to characters in both eras.  Fama does a wonderful job of giving the reader enough information to believe they have the story solved while holding a few important twists until the end.  

The audio version of this is a 2013 Odyssey Award Honor title, and for good reason.  Katherine Kellgren's narration is evocative.  She characterizes, and humanizes, multiple species and even the spirits of those long dead.  

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