Friday, August 5, 2011

Merbook Review: Home to the Sea by Chester Aaron

HI everyone, Randi here again. This time I'm reviewing a book and not talking about movies!

Home to the Sea is a short, little-known, children's book. I found it on Books-A-Million fairly cheap if you want to read it.
Basically,  12 year old Marian starts developing scales and talking to fish and saving sea creatures. The climax of the book is Marian going home to the sea, saving a bunch of whales, seals, ect. from death by earthquake.
This isn't the best mer-book out there. The charactesr are stiff and I feel like there wasn't too much time spent on any one thing, especially the fantastical elements. And it seems Mr. Aaron spent a bit too much time on his message of the book as well. Some of the only bits of the book with good details were the parts about rescuing marine life and how our oceans aren't safe for them and we need to go to Save the Whale rallies, a message I agree with, but it gets in the way of the story. I wanted to know the details of Marian's change and how her family and best friend felt. And some things were a bit ridiculous. Like Marian learns the complicated game  of Bridge in a few hours. That has NOTHING to do with being a mermaid...
As I mentioned, the Marnie Life Rescue makes up the climax. Marian thinks working with them will help with her change, and when she goes out to the sea, it's saving everything from dying in the aftermath of an earthquake in Alaska. It compromised too much of the story for me to be interested. Half the book is spent helping seals or getting whales out to the ocean.

Something else that bothered me was the relationship she had with her families neighbor and Doctor. I know this book was originally written a long time ago (it was published in 2005, written long before that). It wasn't Pedo-bear behavior, but they were a little too honest with each other. Nothing dirty, just strange.
Despite it's flaws however, this book has a beautiful, eerie, quality about it. The best time to read it would be during rain showers when nobody's home to bother you so you can plow right through it (it's less than two hundred pages). Eerie really sums it up. There's something feral beneath the surface when Marian submerges into the water and forgets the human language and doesn't remember the names of her parents and who they are. It's a bit chilling. The imagery is quite strange, especially the bits where Marian is in Maine in her Unle's house (he supposedly turned into a merman, or at least I think so. The book is very vague on this subject particularly).
Altogether worth it for how cheap it is and will leave you with chills, but not the best. I think a sequel should be in order.

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