Kate Archer returns home in search of her missing grandmother, Bonny, and to serve as guardian of the town's amusement park until her return... only the carousel animals are really exiles from the faerie world. And not the nice kind of exiles either - no, these are hardened criminals.
While trying to sort out her new role, Kate gets on the wrong side of the neighboring drug smuggler, who decides she's in the way. And, finally, the startling news comes that Grandmother Bonny's disappearance may have had something to do with Kate's long-missing mother....
©2010 Sharon Lee (P)2010 Audible, Inc
"A tourist town in Maine hosts a war of faerie magic in this engaging urban fantasy.... Lee brings [the] disparate subplots together in a pyrotechnic finale that plays out magically behind the ordinary facade of smalltown Maine life." (Publishers Weekly)
This is a very well written and read book that takes the listener on a magical journey in a small coastal town where strange things are happening. This is a story of homecoming, self-discovery, friendship, facing one's fears, striving to reunite with one's loved ones and, of course, solving a mystery with many delightful, exciting and unexpected twists and turns. The story unfolds at a pace that makes it easy for the listener to get absorbed in it: no 'overload of information' occurs at any point, but it doesn't become boringly slow either. This book held me in its grip right from the beginning till the very end, and I found the ride very enjoyable and entertaining.
"Good Narrator, Good Book"
This book is narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers who is a new-to-me reader; however, I did enjoy the voice she gave to this fantasy novel with a hint of an accent that lent verisimilitude to the narration. I'll be watching for her name in the future.
As for the book itself, I enjoyed it-- a lot. Lee deals delicately with the issue of abuse while not minimizing its impact on the survivor. Her heroine, Kate Archer, shows growth through the narrative as she learns to pick up responsibilities and discard past baggage. I particularly liked the fact that although there is a thread of romance, emotions are not used as a solve-everything panacea. Lee's use of faery and magic combines both traditional fairy tale tropes and contemporary issues.
I checked Lee's website and noted that there may be at least one future book set at Archer's Beach-- I certainly hope so.
Conclusion? Way better than average borderlands (the border of the mundane world and the world of magic) story with a strong, fresh narrator when it comes to the audio version.
"Just what I wanted!"
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I am always on the lookout for books that feature a strong female heroine and a bit of romance without straying too far into "erotica." This one definitely fit the bill.
The world that the writer created is unique. The story is exciting and the mystery draws you in and then pays off with lots of action. My only complaint is I felt like the ending could have been a little stronger.
The narrator is okay, not great. I felt like her characterization of the main character was a little off at times, and her accent was "interesting" but I did not find it too distracting.
"Liked it a lot"
This was a good one, with lots of attention to plot and romance, but no pages-long boring sex scenes. I really liked the narrator when she forgot she was trying to sound like a local, although as a life long New Englander, I never heard an accent quite like that.
"This Lady Can Write!"
The writing is just excellent --the combination of plotting and the richness of the language reminds one of the best of Guy Kay. She is more consistent, though....
I really enjoyed this.
"More Archer's Beach, Please!"
Sharon Lee, co-author of more than a dozen Liaden Universe books, this time brings us something completely different -- a pure fantasy centered around the carousel and arcade at "Archer's Beach" on the Maine coast. Kate Archer, who was brought up by her dryad grandmother, has returned to Archer's Beach because her grandmother has disappeared and the Carousel needs to be run for the summer season, and much fun and danger ensues. The book is fun and well-written, with good characterization and good plotting. The story is made even better by the excellent reading of Elisabeth Rodgers whose Maine accent may not be "real", but feels right to this non-Mainer.
More stories in the Archer's Beach series are under contract with the publisher, so I sincerely hope they'll also get Audible editions, preferrably with the same narrator.
Loved the premise of the story and the characters of this book, very unique and interesting. I really loved that Maine was chosen to be the land where the story happens. Since I lived there I could imagine the coast lines and the people... Even though it has a great ending, it still feels undone in the sense I would like to read more about this world.
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