This month I’m participating in the TBR Challenge 2009.
I’ve had Sea Witch for a while. I bought it because I read a positive and intriguing review of the book at Dear Author, and in the past I read a lot of Virginia Kantra‘s SIMs. (SIM = the now-defunct Silhouette Intimate Moments.) I’d always thought Kantra was an interesting and sensitive writer, and I was curious what she’d do with a paranormal. Her books until this series were, I believe, contemporary, often romantic suspense.
Another reason I wanted to read Sea Witch was because I was well into writing a novella with a selkie. I know some writers don’t like reading what they’re writing while they’re writing it, but I enjoy seeing someone else’s take.
I thought this was a fantastic book. The heroine of the piece is hundreds of years old and Kantra gives you the sense that she has lived long. Sometimes I find that immortals or long-lived beings seem to be like every other thirty-year-old in a romance novel, so I appreciated this sense of otherness associated with Maggie. Her approach to sex is matter of fact and it’s Caleb, the human hero, who’s more emotionally involved in their affair. At least at first.
It’s lovely see Maggie fall for Caleb. Kantra has built a world where there are humans, selkies and demons. The overarching world-building makes sense, but I have to say the book is really grounded in present-day Maine, and Caleb and Maggie’s developing relationship. However, I also liked the way Kantra evoked the ocean and the island, and I enjoyed the “fish out of water” scenario we had with Maggie who found many human interactions curious.
I haven’t said too much about Caleb, but it’s easy to see why Maggie falls for him. Life hasn’t been very easy for him. He’s a wounded warrior, trying to do his best to protect those around him. He also came out of a difficult childhood, with a mother who abandoned him while taking his brother with her, and an alcoholic father.
Anyway, highly recommended! I also read Sea Fever, the second in the series, and enjoyed it a lot. Must pick up Sea Lord, the final installment.
Other reviews: Dear Author liked it quite a bit, giving it a B, whereas AAR didn’t so much, giving it C+. Interesting to me, what I particularly liked about Maggie is what the AAR reviewer couldn’t warm to.