Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Year Ago: Revel by Maurissa Guibord (A Must Read)

Revel by Maurissa Guibord
Received from Random House Kids
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Enthralling, Enigmatic, and Enchanting
There’s an island off the coast of Maine that’s not on any modern map.

Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn’t her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia’s not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night.

Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it’s Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water’s edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.

I am a huge, HUGE fan of Greek mythology, so anytime I see a book where it is involved, I jump on it.  Some of these books have been amazing, while others—not so much.  I’m happy to say that Revel is one of those books that hooked me.  Maurissa created a haunting island, set apart from the rest of the world by treacherous waters and dangerous creatures, where the memories of ancient gods are whispered on the winds; and if you aren’t careful, and you don’t look where you’re going, you might end up lost at sea.

My favorite types of books are the ones that combine the darkness of a horror story with the passion of a romance.  Revel does just that and more.  I was immediately captivated by the gothic aspects of Trespass Island.  At first glance, it looks like a quaint fishing village, but when you step further in and take a closer look, the mysteries start to pile up.  The islanders are quiet, unwelcoming, and their eyes tell a story of loss and fear, along with something resembling brainwashed happiness.  Add that to the mysterious sea monsters, and you have an island straight out of a fairy tale gone horribly wrong.  I loved how Maurissa created an aura of ancient power in her world, and her amazing descriptions of the sea and the wind and the island added to the mystery of that power.

I really enjoyed Delia’s curiosity.  She doesn’t understand the elements that hide within the island, and as a result, she ends up in dangerous situations.  Even though she senses this danger, she doesn’t let it hold her back.  She is lost at why the islanders are so cold, and once their secret is revealed to her, she refuses to live by their rules.  I love this rebellious side to her, even though, at times, I felt she took it too far, endangering herself and those she cared about.  Still, her strength in standing up to oppression and tradition was admirable, and I enjoyed watching her discover just how much she is connected to the island and its traditions.

There are two love interests in the story, but it’s not a love triangle that is overblown.  Now, I am different than most readers because I like the love triangles.  I like the drama and the tension that it adds to the plot, and more importantly, I like how it develops a character’s psyche as he/she makes a choice.  But, I don’t think the triangle in this book while be looked down upon. 

First, you have Sean, the lobsterman who is hiding a dangerous secret.  You can tell he is a great guy, and he loves the island.  It’s almost as if the island has literally become a part of him because he defends it with such fervor.  He seems quiet and shy, but his feelings for Delia are apparent.  Those of you who love the gentlemanly type guy will love Sean.  Then, you have Jax, the mysterious bad boy who is hiding secrets even more dangerous than Sean’s.  Of course, I’m a Jax fan because he’s the troubled one that rebels against the rules.  He tries so hard to stay away from Delia, but his feelings are written all over his face.  He’s strong and confident, despite his feelings; and on more than one occasion he teases Delia about how her eyes travel over his body.  I loved that carefree, teasing part of him.  It made him a little less dangerous seeming, and it showed that he isn’t the cold, ruthless bad boy that the island portrays him to be.

I read this book in one day---it was that good.  The action was fast-paced, and I was always discovering something new.  The blend of mythology with elements of horror and romance was seamless, and Maurissa’s world enveloped me, sending me straight into the depths of the ocean to witness first hand the world she created.  I highly recommend this to mythology and paranormal fans!

The book works as a stand alone, but it is also left where a sequel can be written if Maurissa chooses to.  I, for one, am rooting for a sequel because I just can’t get enough of this enchanting world!