Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review, Excerpt + Giveaway: Undertow by Callie Kingston (Blog Tour Stop)

Undertow by Callie Kingston
Publisher: Self-Published
First published: February 17th, 2012
Source: Received from author
Format: eBook
Pages: 230
Goodreads Summary:
Reality is slipping away as Marissa sinks deeper into an abyss. Only truth and love can bring her back from the edge.

While she slept on a desolate beach on the wild Oregon coast, a rogue wave pulled her out to sea. Now Marissa dreams each night of a merman who rescued her. Obsessed, she risks her life once again in the frigid ocean. Will Marissa recover or remain forever lost in the eddies inside her mind?

Sometimes, the deadliest dangers lie within.
I'd recommend Undertow for an older audience (16+).

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

First thoughts:
Undertow turned out to be completely different from what I expected and from what other novels with mermaids I've read before are like. It's dark and a little bit heavy, but nonetheless captivating and hard to put down. While I had some problems connecting with the main character, I definitely enjoyed reading this novel and will definitely take a look at Callie's future novels. 

More detailed:
While the most mermaid stories I've read so far were rather light-hearted, I think that this genre has the perfect premise to explore a darker side. But even with that thought in mind, Undertow is still completely different from what I might have expected. It doesn't really deal with the actual paranormal aspects, but with the reaction of a person who's faced with a world that's different - no longer "normal."

Marissa has not had the easiest life and even though it takes a while to get to know all of her family's darker moments, the fact that she has suffered is very obvious right from the beginning. She is a protagonist that I'm feeling incredibly sorry for - someone you just want to hug and tell them that everything will be all right again.

Sadly, despite my sympathy for her, I couldn't really connect with her. She's really moody and unpredictable and I couldn't help but wish for a more stable main character. But this is just a personal preference, because Marissa's mood swings and problems are the center of this story and without them it wouldn't be the same.

All in all, I definitely liked Undertow and, like I said above, I'm looking forward to more books by Callie Kingston. If you've been looking for a very unique New Adult novel, stop searching and pick up a copy of Undertow and let yourself be sucked into Marissa's story of searching for a truth that might or might not be there.

This review is part of Undertow's blog tour,

   Marissa bounced on her heels while she waited for Erin to finish packing and vacate the apartment. It was taking the girl way too much time to leave, and Marissa’s nerves were frazzled from waiting all afternoon. Already three o’clock, her time to prepare for the evening ahead was running out.
   “You better get on the road before you wind up in rush hour,” she said, prodding her roommate to hurry.
   Erin fluttered around the kitchen, searching the cabinets through her collection of vitamins. Her habit of storing her pharmacy next to the coffee filters and cinnamon drove Marissa nuts. That’s what the medicine cabinet in the bathroom was for, she told her once. Erin just gave her a stupid look.”But I need juice to take the pills, and the juice is in the fridge.”
   “I can’t leave until I find my calcium.”
   Marissa rolled her eyes. “Just drink milk while you’re gone. Or eat some yogurt.”
   “I’m lactose intolerant. I told you that, like a hundred times. Oh—found it!” She turned around, holding the bottle triumphantly.
   “Great. Well, have a good trip.” If she could physically carry her to her car, she would. Instead, she offered to lug her second suitcase. Erin was only going home for three days, but she packed like she was embarking on a month-long safari.
   Once Erin was gone, nothing was left to distract her from the evening ahead and Marissa’s anxiety went supernova.
   Jim arrived exactly at six thirty. Promptness wasn’t his style, so Marissa knew the night must be as significant to him as it was to her. The carnations he held dripped water from their plastic sleeve and he reminded her of a little boy who’d picked dandelions for his mother.
   He leaned in for a kiss, and their lips met with a gentleness like the soft lapping of waves on the sand at low tide. A peculiar blend of excitement and peace filled her as she breathed in his warm scent of wintergreen.
   Stepping back, he held out his other hand. “Brought the eats.” His smile was brilliant, and his tousle of blond curls made him look like a doll.
   A really hot man doll, she thought.


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  1. Undetow sounds really interesting it's exactly the oppsite of The Little Mermaid, which is my fave mermaid story.

    Great reiew and for thanks for the giveaway! =D

  2. Mermaid stories are awesome. There should be more of 'em and this sounds enticing. Would love to read Undertow.

  3. I keep meaning to read a mermaid book, but haven't gotten around to it. This sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway.

    kprwrite at hotmail dot com

  4. I'm not a fan of mermaid books really. I haven't read one that impressed me yet so I'm a bit wary of this one. It's interesting that it's a darker one though that might be more to my liking. Great review Carina!

  5. My favorite mermaid book would have to be Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. Undertow sounds really interesting! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Thanks for a great review and giveaway! I loved the Little Mermaid growing up but I think that was a requirement of the 80's. Now that I'm an adult, I like darker, gritty versions :)

  7. I love Walt Disney's The Little Mermaid. That is my favorite. Tore923@aol.com

  8. does the little mermaid count? : ) i also like the siren by kiera cass!

  9. It was fun researching all the mermaid lore and especially the tale of Agnete, which eventually became The Little Mermaid. Thanks for the great review and for being part of the tour.


  10. Right now it would be Of Poseidon by Anna Banks but I sure love The Little Mermaid! Eric is my fave prince. :D Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    tomakunisnumberone at gmail dot com


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