Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: The Seas by Samantha Hunt

Rating: 4.5 stars
Recommended for: humans, particularly those who enjoyed the style of The Stranger, the characters of Rebecca, and the magic of Pan's Labyrinth


I'm surprised that this book isn't more well known; it has so many delicious elements. Folk stories mixing with modern life, magical realism mixing with fantasy (which is it?), clinical insanity mixed with the "normal" insanity of which everyone has their own peculiar brand.

This is the story of a teenager, living in a rundown, and her attempts to have a relationship with an older man who just wants to be friends. Years ago, her father walked into the ocean, and never came back - which of course means that the two of them are mermaids, because he couldn't be dead. This shapes the way she sees the world: she can't wait for global warming to melt the ice caps and send everyone who has been cruel to her into the depths; she knows the stories about mermaids who must kill the mortal men who don't return their love, and she's terrified that she will have to kill the man she loves. All this is told a stream-of-consciousness style, where the past pervades the present and words can have many meanings. And, of course, our narrator is unnamed - how could she be anything else?

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