Friday, November 04, 2016

Book Review: SHEARWATER by D. S. Murphy

SHEARWATER (Ocean Depths Book One)
BY: D. S. Murphy

Published: January 19, 2016 by Urban Epics

Genres: Mermaids, Fae, Suspense, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Foreign Countries (Ireland), Romance, YA (Young Adult), Family Drama, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythology, Impending Doom

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (Rounded to 5)
Shearwater is a young adult mermaid novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, Irish mythology, and supernatural folklore. 

After her parents die in a car accident, 15-year old Clara Clark is shipped off to live with a grandfather she never knew existed... in Ireland. Once there, she discovers that her mother’s past is filled with secrets. Determined to discover the truth about her mother, a string of strange incidents cause her to question her sanity. As the mystery deepens, she begins going through changes of her own, until she’s not sure just who – or what – she is anymore. 

Then she meets the charming Sebastian, who won’t leave her alone, and the brooding Ethan, who can’t stand to be around her. Both of them seem to have supernatural powers, and she’s not quite sure whether they want to kiss her or kill her. When a shocking revelation destroys everything she thought she knew, she's forced to choose... whether to cling to the last of her humanity, or venture into the deep abyss in search of her true identity. 

I watched the colored lights and sparkles coming off of Sebastian in the dark water, as the ocean began the process of rebuilding his tail. I longed to join him in the water, to wrap my arms around him and let him carry me under the sea; but I wasn’t ready. For him, the ocean was a home; for me it was death. Without being able to transform, the ocean depths would suffocate me, the pressure collapse my bones and flesh. 

Explore the magical coast of Northern Ireland, and a new interpretation of the Tuatha de Danann, the Fomorians, and mermaid mythology. 

An innovative paranormal romance with a brand new magical system, and a version of mermaid biology that actually makes sense. 

This is PART ONE of the first book (Shearwater), of the Ocean Depths Series. 

Here's a teaser for the epic conclusion: Clara is in the middle of a war between two ancient cultures, and she just might be the key to saving humanity from extermination. Can she negotiate a peace before everyone she cares about is murdered? Or will she give up what she wants most, to save the one she loves?


I am a sucker for a pretty cover. You know this. So when I saw the cover of Shearwater, I had to stop and learn more. Then I read the words mermaid, Ireland and paranormal romance. SOLD. You had me at mermaid.

The online reviews don't do the book justice and I'm not sure why. It was fantastic. The characters wrapped me up and absorbed my attention like fifteen year old boys at a PlayStation display with free hamburgers. I was constantly second guessing people and their intentions. 

Clara was a bit of a Debbie Downer at first. You couldn't really blame her though. Her parents... dead. Her whole life ripped up and sent in a completely foreign (ha ha) direction. (Sorry, couldn't help myself there.) She was definitely acting like your typical fifteen year old. (No offense out there.) She started off rejecting the changes and the new people in her life. Her grandfather especially. Did I mention the school uniform? Uh, yeah... not her favorite thing.

However, place, people and things aren't what they seem. And our Clara develops rather quickly, learning she needs to not jump to conclusions and assumptions. The adjusting was challenging and she felt so out of place. There were certain people that were openly hostile to her for no reason. Everything around her opened up new questions about her mother and why she left Ireland. Not to mention that she had events happen that would scare the crap out of you. Weird and spooky things. 

Clara turns out to be a fighter. She tossed off the "why me" attitude and got down to business. Who am I? Why am I here? What are the connections between these people and my mom? Why did this local girl die? She pulled up her big girl pants and developed beautifully as a main character. 

We all have or will face major upheaval in our lives. How we face them is a true test of our character. Clara had to face death, moving, new school, new family, new friends, everything she thought was true and changes in the very DNA of herself. That's a lot to handle. 

Good thing she quickly developed friendships. Ethan, Jackie and Derry became anchors in her life, and cohorts in crime as they tried to solve the multiple mysteries surrounding them. Aedan was your typical rough teddy bear grandfather figure. However, he did lend some mystery to the story. 

D. S. Murphy grew his characters  with so many layers. He enveloped the reader in detail and descriptions. The suspense and the relationships were both organic
and well thought out. Murphy paced the release of clues and revelations, keeping the tension throughout the book. Then there was Sebastian. I really liked him. He was carefully crafted and I felt I got to know him more throughout the book, not the "here-you-go" drop like others do. He turned out to be loyal, stubborn and I loved his quirks... like his car.

My one suggestion would be to better incorporate the accent of the locals and their terminology. When a book doesn't use the accent in dialogue, it's hard for me to keep the American accent out of my head when reading.  

The ending. Oh Lord.

The last chapter had me going nuts. There was drop after drop of bombshells. The cliffhanger ending had me running to my computer to frantically search for book two. Which isn't out yet.

Oh. My. Precious.

My husband laughed at me because I looked frantic. I NEEDED answers.

I actually wrote D. S. Murphy to ask about Book two, because it's MINE when it comes out. Unleash the grabby hands. So of course I would need to know when my torment would end.

Shearwater from start to finish is a great mystery read, with character development, great pacing and gorgeous cover. You'll want to get your own copy for your grabby hands today! Can't wait for book two!