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Posted October 6, 2012
I read a fair amount of Young Adult books since I judge that category in writing contests. However, few ever capture my attention like Merrie Destefano's Fathom. Beautifully written, well-edited (for all you grammar freaks), with engaging characters, the story of Kira Callahan is a page-turner for sure. I blasted through this and wished for more. Destefano mixes Irish lore with the Pacific Coast, and creates a cast of characters uniquely suited to this expertly crafted story. I couldn't put it down. VERY well done. For YA and adults.
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Posted September 25, 2013
I'll start with the negatives, just to get them out of the way:
-There is a love triangle.
-The main character, Kira, is a Twilight fan :P.
-There are a few places where I thought reactions were...off. Like, a little more angst than necessary in a place or two, and two places where I really thought there should be more emotion/description and a bit of freaking out.
I was happy dancing through this whole book because I loved the voice. Kira is smart and just a little snarky, but it's *not* that annoying teen snarky-snark voice that grates your nerves after the first two chapters. Ms. Destefano's writing voice is genuine and realistic for a teen girl and really made me connect with Kira.
(The story is also partly told from Caleb's pov, and I didn't connect as well with him, but his parts were also fewer and farther between--but I did like him a lot!)
I loved all the addition of the folklore, sprinkled in here and there and woven into the story. And all the characters were distinctive. Loved Sean and Riley especially.
And the writing was beautifully descriptive, with poetic rhythm, and so many places where I savored every word choice.
Also--the story stands on its own, but the door opens at the end for a sequel and I very much hope there is going to be one!
Posted July 22, 2013
I received a copy of Fathom by the author, Merrie Destefano, in exchange for an honest review.
"In the end, dark magic and twisted fate can catch up with you, no matter how far you move away."
Growing up hasn't been easy for Kira. Kira's mom killed her sister when she was 6 years old and then jumped off a cliff to her demise. Classmates always murmur about whether or not Kira will go crazy like her mom. Luckily for Kira, she's had an amazing best friend that makes her heart flutter, a supportive father, and a grandmother, with amazing storytelling skills - with a specialty in Celtic lore. Little does Kira know that her own legend is in the process of being written.
Even though Kira's story is still being written, she is a legend to the younger generation of selkies. They travel far distances just to catch a glimpse of the infamous heroine. Caleb is so captivated by her, that he risks everything just to meet her.
Fathom is a captivating tale with intricate plot surprises. Readers will fall in love with the Celtic lore and become intrigued with selkies. The story is written from both Kira's and Caleb's perspectives.
Posted July 20, 2013
I would like to thank the author for gifting me this book for a honest review, Thanks!!
We are taken to the small town of Cresent Moon Bay, Kira is a sixteen year old girl living with her Dad and Grandma and trying to live life as normal a possible. Kira is still trying to cope with the deaths of her mother and sister, she doesnt have many frineds, just her best friend Sean, who has always been there for her. Then there are some new visitors to the small town and group of teenagers, one them being Caleb. Then she goes to a party one night and is almost drowned and things get crazy from there for Kira. Truths come out about her and her family. Kira must make some difficult choices.
I really loved this book. I loved the mystery and legends in this story. This book had a little of everything, some romance, mystery and comedy. Kira was great, shes funny but also shes still dealing with alot and can act out sometimes. Riley was really annoying to me and plain mean. I loved Caleb and at the end of the book I was not happy, shocked. I really hope theres a second book!!!
Posted July 14, 2013
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Fathom is a wonderfully written story of Celtic legends with Selkies and Sea Monsters. It is full of mystery, suspense and takes many surprising twist and turns. I was pleased that the secrets in this book where kept only long enough to keep me surprised and on my toes but were not drawn out so long that I gave up wondering. Also a refreshing twist to other books I’ve been reading in this genre is the duel POV’s, I loved that these mysteries where unraveled by Caleb and Kira. The relationship Kira had with her dad and grandma as well as her best friend, Sean, was refreshing and heartfelt. In my opinion there were some confusing, if not unnecessary parts such as Kiras obsession for writing. I appreciated learning more about Kiras life but it seem disjointed and I felt like it didn’t add anything to the story….perhaps it will make more sense in the 2nd book.
Posted July 9, 2013
This is definitely one of the better mermaid/siren/selkie books I've read. It was fun to have the Celtic mythology, one that isn't quite as popular in today's literature (at least that I've come across) so I loved having that to teach me while I was reading.
First off, I want to say how much I got frustrated with Kira. She was such a pushover! Literally whatever anyone wanted to do to her they could and she would just passively let it happen. It was the case with the Paper Dolls, Lucy specifically, with Brianna and Riley and her dad and her grandma. Every single person walked all over her. While I understand that some of it was to protect her--especially in her grandma's case--it still goes against my nature so much. I did a little happy dance when she finally stood up to Lucy at school; I just wish she had done that with everyone else.
Especially with Riley!! Holy crap that girl pissed me off so much. Her reasoning for all of her actions were ludicrous and just made me angry. I hate when people make decisions that have no real merit. Riley's hatred of Kira was unfair and idiotic, especially when certain things happen.
I loved the whole sea monster bit. If more mermaid books had sea monsters like that I'd be in love. Mermaids/sirens/selkies are the only ones who would know if there were deep sea monsters like the giant squid, I want to see that stuff! And this book delivered that in mass amounts, especially as the plot went on. I was so incredibly excited about it that I kept accidentally jumping ahead in the story only having to go back and read what I has skipped in my haste to reach the monster.
If the focus of the series stays on the Hinquememem and not the love triangle with Caleb and Sean I will gladly continue this series.
Posted February 13, 2013
* Would actually rate this book 3.5 stars but rounded it up to 4*
I am extremely on the fence about this one. Several times I had put the book down, telling myself I wasn't into to it, only to find myself crawling back into bed starting it up again. The writing was excellent and it flowed easily throughout the book. But I think it was the storyline that got me. I liked the idea that the author had but at times I thought it was kind of bland. The description of the book is a little deceptive too. So much so I was a little confused when starting the book. I just wasn’t expecting the path the author took. I will say I was surprised with a major twist that happened. I totally did not see it coming.
Another thing is I never felt that connection with Kira like I felt I should with an MC. I mean like zip. I couldn’t relate to her and thought that she didn’t really develop much throughout the story. I did however like Caleb's character a lot. But I do think he got the short end of the deal in the end.
I am not sure if this book is the start of a series or a standalone. But with an ending like this one had, I am hoping there will be another book. I am not sure though I want to read the second one if there is. I just don’t have that desire to continue on with it. These are all just my opinions and I hope that others will want to find out for themselves if this book is for them or not.
Posted October 27, 2012
Caleb's people are of the sea, make homes of shipwrecked ships and have legends of humans. One of the legends is still forming, a girl still working and growing through her own legend his people talk about. Caleb is curious about this legend and when his friend and his sisters betrothed returns home he says he saw her, and a crew of them decide to go and see her for themselves, even though they have to swim through their predators territory, the Hinquememem.
Kira is a young girl turning sixteen and maturing, maturing in ways she never even knew and well beyond that of a normal teenage girl. Kira feels she looks more like her murdering mother than ever before, and misses her dead sister. She loves her swimming that helps calm her days and mind. But Kira's world is good as she shares her first kiss with Sean but is about to get turned upside down after a party where she has her drink spiked and a few girls play a cruel joke on her by trying to drown her... she thinks what happens is all a hallucination, from the drink...or was it?
We start with Kira remembering the first time she saw a ghost, her mothers ghost and what happened to her mother and sister, yet makes me curious to the whole story with them and the Celtic legends they believe and listen to. In school there are those who whisper the same rumors at start of each year, about Kira and her mother and wondering if she's like her mother, crazy. But we are coming to the close of the year and the thoughts are still there.
The descriptions of the oceans touch is poetic! The details of the scent, look, and feel are amazing and I can almost feel it on my skin. I almost feel as I'm there. Then when I realize I'm not, it makes me wish I was standing there at the ocean, on the beach. Makes me crave the ocean as much as Kira does.
The chapters rotate between Kira, learning of her, her mom, birthday, and friends, and Caleb, learning his world and adventures to see Kira. The chapters are shorter length in pages and consist of complete scenes. I really like this. It's easy to have a spot to stop on the run (and for young adults between classes) yet I am in want to keep reading and know, learn, more of Kira's and Caleb's lives and how they will connect.
My only thought is Kira considers Caleb a friend in the end after him helping her once and then in the end again, also keeping her secret. Kira feels a connection with Caleb with every eye locked gaze, but I didn't feel there was as much happening between them to consider him such a close friend. I do think Kira is a kind soul and should act the same way she does with him, but to say he's such a close friend...I don't know, I didn't really feel it. But the Legend created here, Wow!
Wow! The legend created here. An amazing Celtic legend that grows to come to pass as we read, in a story that will seize your attention. Full of selkies and monsters of the sea.
I'm very curious to see where the series goes from here. There has to be more to come, because I want it. lol.