Shearwater Part One by Derek Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In part 1 of Shearwater, Clara’s just been uprooted from her home and friends in America, and forced to live with a Grandfather she didn’t know existed. Grieving the loss of her parents and adjusting to life in Portballintrae, Ireland, Clara and her new group of friends keep running into two mysterious young men. One seems to have the answers to the growing list of questions about her mother and herself, the other may be just as steeped in the mystery. One thing’s for sure – there’s magic in Portballintrae, and if she doesn’t figure out what’s going on in time, she might just lose her life.
This is not your typical mermaid story – there is much about the mermaids anatomy that is unique, as well as the background stories, which makes it very interesting. It has a very Twilight-ish vibe to it, with its love triangle and irresistible romantic draw.
My biggest complaint was that, although set in Ireland, there’s very little indication of that. None of the Irish accent comes through the dialog. The setting is beautiful and seems authentic, but without the dialog, it failed to transport me. I also found the characters to be very much like Americans (although I don’t have any experience to compare what Irish kids would act like).
Regardless, I found the story interesting and I would say it’s worth a read if you’re into mermaid stories.
I first came across Derek Murphy when my author friend Chrys Cymri told me he was writing a mermaid book. I was working on Skye’s Lure, so it made sense to check it out. I have to admit, I did delay reading this initially. I love all the information Derek gives authors about writing, publishing, marketing, and cover design (you’ll see some reviews on those books in the future), but I wasn’t sure he was so generous with his fiction. In the end, Derek wants what all authors want – the opportunity to have their fiction provide an income. Overall, I think Derek has done pretty well with that, and it’s been interesting to watch his journey.
Undeniably, his covers are more than gorgeous, and his writing isn’t bad. He’s cranking out the titles, and Amazon and readers have responded. There’s something to be said for his techniques; though I questioned them at first, I plan on utilizing some in the future. Maybe one day I’ll reach some level of success that will help contribute to the household bills. Until then, I’ll keep writing and learning and reading and reviewing, and I’m grateful for his transparency, no matter how it came off.