Sapphire City by Amy Richie is a Young Adult Paranormal novel that would easily be enjoyed by females of any age. The story, told in first person from the protagonist's point of view, is a tale of deception, magic, love, and...mermaids.
This is the first mermaid novel I'd ever read, and I have to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised while reading it.
Stella is a fifteen year old girl who is drawn to the ocean, but never knew why. Throughout the beginning of the story, we are given clues that something is amiss. The author does this well by showing the reader via different series of events. The fear that Stella's mother displays when she warns her daughter not to go near the ocean is felt by the reader. This is one of the first clues that delves into the mysteries of the ocean that are about to be revealed.
We learn a lot about Stella through her relationship with her friends Jess and Draven. Though we learn to like Jess by the middle of the book, we, the reader, feel Stella's initial apprehension towards her. As is Stella, we are drawn to Draven from first sight. The author depicts him as the perfect hero - - good-looking, compassionate, protective, and a bit perturbed by some of Stella's actions. We even get a nice backstory on Draven that plays well with the plot.
The main story line is developed slowly and timely, leaving us anticipating each turn of the page. Not one page in the entire novel is lacking in suspense. Every word the author chooses is relevant and moves the story forward. Even the characters' delineation is pertinent to the plot. Dialogue is interspersed naturally throughout the story, and the writing is clear, simple, and unflawed.
I would definitely recommend this novel to paranormal fans of all ages. I was engrossed and entertained from page one. And now I want to be a mermaid.
Hooray for Amy Richie - I cannot wait until Book Two is released.