Title // Shining Sea
Author // Mimi Cross
Pages // 422 pages
Publisher // Skyscape
Series // None
Release Date // May 2016
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Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.
Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?
Every little girl dreams of being a mythical creature. Sometimes it’s being a fairy, sometimes it’s being a mermaid. Very rarely is it a siren, and after reading this story, I completely understand why. Mimi Cross has captured the magic and mystery that arises from the paranormal and has showcased it over 400 pages. And for that, she deserves a massive clap. Maybe even a shiny badge?
Sinking endlessly through the sea, I open my eyes. The world is water.
Fantasy books are very rarely the first novel I will select off the shelves. Most are outdated and – excuse me – babyish. If you excuse Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments and Vampire Academy, then I have never really read a fantasy book. However Mimi Cross has restored my faith in these books, making me feel in awe with them. The story is based around the story of Arion, a girl with a fear if the sea (with good reason) and your average teenager. Throw in sirens, death and a story that doesn’t quite seem right and there you have Shining Sea. The plot was good, but in places J found it drawn out and lengthened for no reason. That was, perhaps, my biggest peeve with the book. At times I wanted to put it down and never stare at it again. But I carried on reading, and so should you.
I wish I could lie to myself. Pretend I’m not afraid. But if I play my mental “changing radio stations” game now, my fears might bust out on the boats, create chaos for me. I have to at least own it. I’m scared shitless.
Since the fantasy genre is all but a foreign concept to me, I can’t really comment on the originality of the plot. I have yet to come across other books involving sirens, and in the depth that Mimi Cross has achieved, so it definitely deserves brownie points for that. Characterisation is a strong feature for the novel. Arion is a very conflicted person, especially after the past year of her life. Her romance with two males in the book is quite frustrating, even more so considering that there is nothing I detests more than a love triangle. She is quite strong however, and manages to cling to into whatever sanity she has left. Bo in three words would be ‘not the average’, because to be honest he’s not. He’s so much more and so much less at times, which preserves his character.
It’s as if the stars have fallen from the sky. Fallen and found a home, in him.
I adored how the story had all these secrets and questions, and how you gain your answers travelling along in the story. Yet I felt very much unsatisfied with the final chapter for the book. I absolutely hope that this book is not a standalone, because I might just be tempted to pull all my hair out otherwise. My reluctance to pick up the book was totally washed away, and while I felt the pace and the time of the story was a little prolonged, I understand that it is vital to the story. Do not, however, pick up the book and think you can jump into it. I think this is very much a book you need to focus on, because you blink and you might moss something.
I don’t care, but through a nebula of lust I wonder, Bo, will I ever see you again?
There is little else I can do but recommend Shining Sea. While it doesn’t earn my highest rating, it does secure a steady 4 snowflakes out of 5. I advise you read the book, but don’t expect it to be a quick read. Also, don’t give up on it, because it does get better.