With a sparkling energy and humor, Finty Williams brings to life the new adventures and travails of a likeable half-mermaid tween in Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep by Liz Kessler. This time Emily accidentally rouses a sea monster called a kracken and invites the wrath of Neptune. (May). Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Being a teenager is tough. It is even tougher if you are half-human and half-mermaid, moving to a new mermaid only island where you only have one friend and are already on Neptune's bad side. This is the predicament Emily Windsnap is in at the beginning of this story. It only gets worse from there. While trying to prove that she is a real mermaid, she accidentally awakens the Kraken a few years too early. The beast begins wreaking havoc on the island and the surrounding waters. In the midst of this chaos, Mandy Rushton, Emily's nemesis from her old school, shows up. This book will be a delight for middle school girls. While the story is purely fantasy, they will be able to relate to Emily as she tries to fit in with other girls and as she tried to cope with a bully. The book is told from Emily's point of view with a few chapters told in Mandy's words. While this is a sequel to another book; it can be read alone and understood, however, there are some parts that seem a little confusing. Consider buying both books rather that this one alone. Part of the "Emily Windsnap" series.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Emily is ecstatic. In The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Candlewick, 2004), she learns that she is a mermaid and reunites her human mother with her merman father. Now, the happy family is going to live together on an island smack dab in the center of the Bermuda Triangle. King Neptune himself has designated Allpoints Island as a safe place where humans and merfolk can coexist in peace. Even better, Emily's mermaid buddy Shona is moving to the island as well. Unfortunately, Emily is still feeling a little different as she is the only half-human/half-mermaid hybrid she knows. In an attempt to impress the others, she unwittingly unleashes a monster sleeping at the heart of the island. To put it to rest, she must now face not only her fears but also her old rival from middle school, Mandy Rushton. Constantly shying away from taking responsibility for her actions, Emily opts for the path of least resistance time and again, only stopping the murderous kraken when forced to do so. The book comes across as overly simplistic much of the time and relies too heavily on coincidence and some unbelievably cheery endings. Just the same, mermaid lovers everywhere will undoubtedly enjoy this story. Consider purchase if the first book is popular.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
When Emily Windsnap and her parents arrive at their new home in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, she hopes she can fit in with the mermaids there better than she did with her classmates at Brightport High. Half-human, half-mermaid herself, she wants to make an impression on her new friends, but instead awakens a deadly kraken, angers King Neptune and endangers them all. Neptune hopes to put the kraken back to work sinking human ships; his first target carries Emily's long-time enemy, Mandy Rushton. Occasionally, Mandy interrupts Emily's story; the change of narrator is indicated by a new typeface, and a jarring shift to present tense. Neither Emily nor Mandy are developed enough to account for their change of heart at the end, but the action moves briskly, with a satisfying amount of underwater description and much attention to varied tail styles. The imaginative premise will intrigue readers and the suspense will be enough to keep them reading to the happy ending and perhaps send them back to Emily's first story, The Tail of Emily Windsnap (2004). (Fiction. 9-12)
Read an Excerpt
We swam side by side to begin with. Below us, occasional shoals of parrotfish and bright red snappers swept across the sandy bed. When the channel narrowed, I swam ahead, slinking along the silent passageway. The ground soon became uncluttered: clear golden sand beneath us, the sun shining down, almost directly above our heads. Two silhouetted mermaid figures gliding along below the surface, our shadows came and went, appearing briefly before suddenly growing distorted with the splash of a tail breaking the water's still surface.
We came to the curtain of reeds draped down the channel's walls and the algae-coated wooden plaques. That's when the feeling started inside me. I didn't know what it was. A quivery kind of sensation jiggling around in my stomach. Nervous. Waiting for something - and a feeling that there was something waiting for me, too. Trying not to let Shona see my quivering hands, I parted the curtain and looked through the hole in the wall. The water sparkled and fanned out into a wide lagoon. Ferns hung down over cracks and gaps in the walls. A white tropical bird flew into a hole behind me, its long tail disappearing into the rock. Nothing else moved. Shona stared.
I turned to her. "Ready?" My voice shook.
She broke her gaze to look at me. "Let's just get this over with."
I glanced around to check that no one had followed us, then I squeezed through the gap and swam into the lagoon. The sun burned down, heating my neck and dancing on the water. Its light rippled below us in wavy lines across the sea floor.
As we slid across the stillness, the water grew colder and murkier. When the lagoon narrowed back into a channel, I couldn't see my reflection swimming along below me anymore. The walls lining our trail had lost their hardness. They were like chalk. I stopped and scraped my finger down the side. I made myself focus on the walls, almost flicking a switch to turn off the nagging wordless worry in my mind. Rock crumbled in my hand. The channel walls stretched upward, cold and gray and deserted.
"Emily!" Shona was pointing at something ahead. An engraving on the wall: a perfect circle with a fountain spiraling out from the center. It looked like a pinwheel, full of energy, almost as tall as us. I had this weird feeling I knew the picture, recognized it. Had I seen it in a book? Dreamed about it? What was it?
"Look at this!" Shona had swum ahead while I stared at the engraving.
I joined her in front of some ferns loosely covering a hole in the rock. The hole disappeared below the surface. We dived down. Under the water, it was just big enough to swim into.
"Cool!" I grinned at her. A secret tunnel reaching into the rock! "Shona, we have to see what's in there."
EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE MONSTER FROM THE DEEP by Liz Kessler. Copyright © 2006 by Liz Kessler. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.