Holly Kelly wowed me with her first sentence in chapter one: "Xanthus could taste the blood of a human in the sea water."
She continued to draw me in with her word choice in the sentences and paragraphs that followed. Vivid, visual, I sunk quickly into the plot and wanted to know why and what did we "humans" do to Xanthus, one of the main characters in the book.
Holly Kelly created this alternative underwater world, exploring the details from the architecture of the cities, to the life dwelling in the depths of the sea. First of all, I want to say how difficult it is to paint a new and different world other than human. A world separate and foreign to what we live and know. I am always in awe of an author who can create this different picture, which leads to my second point, I believed her. Holly Kelly convinced me this world was real: "The Castle of Triton rose in the distance--a colossal fortress with many tall turrets, arched buttresses, and massive windows. Hundreds of sharks circled above and around the castle, guarding their master inside."
Her heroine Sara intrigued me. A strong twenty-something female, she lived with a huge disability since her birth. She constantly had all these conflicting emotions swimming in her head about herself, her disability, and the doctors who always wanted to fix her. I liked her drive to survive and succeed the most. I found myself relating to Sara, remembering how at one point I wanted to succeed like that, no matter how hard I had to work to pay the bills. I also loved the constant reminder of her insecurities. I think we all have them, and she felt like a real person. I understood her actions.