Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Rising Tide: Dark Innocence by Claudette Melanson.
Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review
About the Book: Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.
Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.
Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?
When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.
If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.
My Review: This is one of those stories where you can’t help feeling for the main character, Maura, as she tries to make her way through high school life. It isn’t easy when you’re the outcast, and we’re drawn into her plight from the first page. As much as I wanted to reach into the book and shake Maura’s mother for her aloofness, I could empathize with Maura’s reluctance to press her for more details. That doesn’t mean I agree, but it still made for interesting and fun moments.
The story was well-paced with tidbits of Maura’s wakening abilities scattered throughout. My only complaint is it follows in the traditional pattern of no one believes in something, so they don’t see it. It can be maddening at times, but given the other characters’ limited knowledge, it’s understandable and still works. The author did a fantastic job of drawing my attention from those points and Maura’s personal life/problems such as he mother and possible boyfriend.
This was easy and entertaining to read and an excellent opening to the series. I’ll have to check out the author’s other books in the future.