Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Review: Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra

Day 3 of vacation... Everything is quite quiet. I finally got my car back, yay!! Yesterday, I went out with a friend... Today, no real plan except taking my mother out for her birthday :)

Lots of people have been asking for my thoughts on Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra, so I thought I'd bumped the review up :)

Sea Witch by Virgina Kantra
published by Berkley in July 2008

From the water... For years, Margred has gone without the touch of another. Now, her need has driven her beyond her own world. For she is a selkie - a legendary being of the sea, able to shape-shift into seductive human form. Finally, she has found the one she wants...

From the land... A burned-out veteran of the big-city streets, Caleb Hunter was only too happy to take the job as police chief on the peaceful Maine island of World's End. Nothing ever happens in this tiny community surrounded by the sea - until he meets a woman who's everything he's ever dreamed of. And more...

To each other... Their passion is undeniable. Irresistible. But when a murderer begins targeting women in World's End, Caleb must face the terrible possibility that the killings are somehow connected to the mysterious Margred - and that the power of their love may change the fate of humankind...

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: The Children of the Sea, book #2 (book #1 Sea Crossing is a novella in anthology Shifter)

The Story: Margred is a selkie and has lived for hundreds of years. Long ago, she has lost her mate and although the pain and sadness have faded away, she is craving sex. She decides to come to shore to fulfill her desire and meets Caleb Hunter, chief of police.

Caleb is instantly attracted to Margred and although turned on, he wants this to be more than a one night stand. Unfortunately for him, Margred leaves without a word. Meanwhile, Margred knows that Caleb is different from any men she's met... and she can't forget him. When she comes back three weeks later to find him, she is attacked by a demon and her pelt is burned. Without her pelt, Margred can no longer shift and return to the sea... and trapped as a human on land, she will lose her immortality. Although scared to death, she has Caleb to support her... however, the demon is still lurking around...

My Opinion: I hesitated before getting this book. I've seen it at the bookstore and what threw me off from the synopsis is Margred's cravings for sex. I don't know, her coming to shore for sex, it just didn't really appeal to me. Then, Brie reviewed the book and it convinced me to buy it. Luckily for me, I was able to find it at the UBS :)

First, I'd like to say that I liked the idea that Ms Kantra used. Like Brie, I'm a bit vamped out and perhaps werewolved out LOL :) So having an author explores the selkie is original and different. At the same time, I can't help but think that all the mystical creatures are going to be explored in the near future in search for originality and freshness. We should be in for some interesting paranormal romances... Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed the idea of selkies. Where it didn't work so much for me is that I felt like the world building was a bit incomplete. What exactly are the selkies powers? We know they can shapeshift, call sea animals and have some powers over water... What else? The whole culture is also lacking a little bit. In addition, Ms Kantra assigned creatures to each element: selkies are water creature, demons are fire creatures... so what about air and land? My guess is that perhaps many answers could be found in Sea Crossed, the novella in Shifter anthology. Personally, I don't like it when authors start off their series in anthology... It's just a bad idea, because not everyone buys anthologies.

Onto the characters and storyline. I have to say, as I feared, the whole Margred coming ashore to get sex didn't really work with me. What worked though was Caleb's character. Caleb was definitively a great guy, but perhaps with too much baggages. I didn't mind the baggages, but it seems that as the story progressed, they were forgotten... are replaced by other issues. In addition, I enjoyed Margred and Caleb's chemistry. Things definitively sizzled between them and I like Caleb's sweetness and tenderness towards her. As for Margred character, well I don't know. She was okay. She's quite independent and strong and can take matters into her own hands. She seems to be a woman in control, control which she lost when her pelt was destroyed. Then, she became vulnerable and scared, but it just didn't suit her much. Of course, when you're 700 y.o., the prospect of losing your immortality can be a bit alarming and I get that. However, I just think it didn't work well. I think it might have to do with the writing, it didn't quite pull it off right.

Another thing I didn't like too much was Caleb's family. I liked his little sister well enough, but not the brother. I won't spoil things to you, but just know that Caleb's mother left when he was 10 years old with his older brother... abandoning Caleb and his little sister with a drunk father. I didn't like Dylan's, Caleb's older brother, character and well... his reappearance was a bit weird. I think that Margred should have told Caleb's things a bit differently for him to accept and handle it. Although, there wasn't much time for Caleb to explore his feelings and come to term because of the demon.

Finally, I think the ending was a bit rushed. A couple of more pages wouldn't have hurt, especially to have all the issues resolved.

My Grade: B-. I don't regret buying this book. I like Ms Kantra's take on the selkies which brought freshness and originality. However, I don't think that I'll be looking for Sea Fever, which is Dylan's story.


  1. hmmm. I just cant seem to see what basically amounts to a seal shapeshifter as sexy ...

  2. Nath, I didn't like Dylan either, He was a complete jerk to Caleb. But I did get Sea Fever, and I have to admit that I still don't really him. Ha!

  3. Interesting review. Selkies are a nice change in paranormal so I have been looking forward to this one. I have it on request from the library.

  4. lol I think I'm with Zeek on this one.
    But then I also had a bad experience a few years ago with a selkie romance.... it was just baaad. I think the title was just Selkie.

  5. I like the cover. :) Think i'll pass on this one.

  6. Does sound interesting. Like you say there are so many books centering around vampires and werewolvs at the moment that it is nice to read about a different supernatural species.

  7. Zeek - LOL, okay, shapeshifting into a seal is not very sexy and it doesn't really happen as in, there's no passage in the book where she is a seal. However, the mythology behind it is interesting :)

    Brie - I totally agree, Dylan was a jerk. and you know what? I'm sure that his mother died trying to go back ashore to check on Caleb and Lucy. Anyway, I don't know what's his problem... and I personally didn't like Regina either. I mean, sure, when the most eligible bachelor get married, it's sad... but come on. If you wanted him, why didn't you make a move... and anyway, she didn't even love or like him I bet... he was just her buoy.

    Kris - If you can get it through the library, that would be the best :) I'm quite sure you're going to enjoy it, LOL, you're not difficult :) but not sure you're going to love it :) but yeah, it's fun to have a change from vampires and werewolves and witches.

    Samantha - LOL :)Well I'm sure to stay away from that book. This one wasn't bad and Caleb was a great hero... it's just the rest ^_^;

    Isabel - I'm not sure about the cover. I like the color, but seeing a woman's naked back... meh.

    Rhinoa - If you want something different, definitively give it a chance.

  8. Didn't the Hero in the shifter antho one shift into a Seal???