Author: M. Leighton
Publisher: M. Leighton Books
Release Date: July 22nd, 2011
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I won a kindle copy of the first two books in this series and had no idea what the series was about (I'm glad that I did not know, though, for I don't think I would have picked up a book with such a description that sounded more like a little kid's book than a YA one). I was quite disappointed with the first book, which was only 57 pages long. There did not seem to be much of a plot and I found myself completely lost in a magical world of humans and mermaids that was hardly explained. However, as the series continued on I found myself enjoying it a little more.
There is definitely a strong plot in this novel, what with Madly's home and the majority of her race being trapped due to a prison break. Yet for some reason I find myself oddly detached from this plot line. Everything just seemed predictable. Even the characters (including Madly and Jackson) make obvious choices consistent with their personalities and never choose to do anything crazy once in a while; sometimes I just wished that something super exciting would occur to remind me why I was continuing to read the book. Don't get me wrong, the characters and plot were not entirely unlikable; I just did not find them to be anything special.
The core of this novel, thankfully, is not the plot, but the love story between Madly, a princess betrothed to another man, and Jackson, the best Sentinel in the world who was assigned to protect her. Fortunately this did not turn into a predictable love triangle; Madly's fiance, who also happened to be her best friend, quickly fell in love with another girl, leaving Madly free to be with whomever she wanted. I loved the relationship between the headstrong Madly and the protective Jackson. While their relationship certainly has its highs and lows, the couple has been able to keep a steady partnership because all the rulers have been trapped underwater due to the prison break. However, I am quite interested to see what might happen if/when Madly's parents are freed; I am sure that they will cause trouble because of Madly's relationship with a man whom her parents have not chosen to be her fiance.
This series definitely takes some getting used to, and if you want to see Madly and Jackson's relationship progress, you really have to stick out this book and continue grinding through it, even when it seems uninteresting. While these first two books were definitely not any of my favorites, I think that I will continue to read this series (though I may not dwell on it for very long) just to see what happens next!