Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Book and Audio Review: Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee

Carousel Tides

Sharon Lee
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
Series: Archer's Beach (Book 1)
Publication: Baen Books; 1st edition (October 31, 2010); Audible Studios (November 2, 2010)
Length: 432 p.; 11 hours and 59 minutes

Description: Kate Archer left home years ago, swearing that she would die before she returned to Maine. As plans go, it was a pretty good one — simple and straightforward.

Not quite fast enough, though.

Before she can quite manage the dying part, Kate gets notice that her grandmother is missing, leaving the carousel that is the family business untended.

And in Archers Beach, that means ‘way more trouble than just a foreclosure.

My Thoughts: Kate Archer is coming back home to Archer's Beach, Maine, after swearing to never return, but her grandmother is missing and the carousel she runs is in need of supervision. After all, it houses some desperate criminals from the other of the six worlds and it is Kate's duty to keep them contained.

Kate has managed to escape one of the other six worlds when her grandfather's holdings were overrun by Ramendysis but only because her mother offered her soul to him in exchange. Even so, Ramendysis was reluctant to let her go and she arrived at her grandmother's on our Earth in bad condition. But she grew and healed and at one point bound herself to the land as was a part of her grandmother's heritage.

A thoughtless overuse of her powers led to the death of a friend and led Kate to disavow the land and head away from it to die. But now she needs to come back...

The search for her grandmother is complicated by the changes that have occurred in Archer's Beach. Without its Guardian, the land is failing and drug runners are taking over. The local trenvay, earth spirits, aren't strong enough to oppose him. Kate has an almost immediate run-in with Mr. Joe Nemeier when she learns that he has build his grand, ugly home on land near her grandmother's woods and his encroached on her land by some six feet. She loses her temper and blights the grass that trespass making an enemy of Joe Nemeier and the target for his many henchman who all seem to be protected by some magic from otherwhere in the six worlds. 

She does have some allies including Borgan who might be a selkie and Mr. Ignat' who is a long-time ally of her grandmother. However, neither of them know where her grandmother has gone or how to deal with Nemeier and his henchmen. Things get even more tense when Ramendysis comes looking for a stolen object and causing even more chaos.

This was a wonderful contemporary fantasy set in a run-down Maine beach town. The characters are interesting and well-developed. Elisabeth Rodgers does a great job narrating the audiobook and building both the suspense and the magic. The worldbuilding fascinating and complex. Best of all, it is the first book in a series leaving lots more to read and discover. 

Favorite Quote:
"This place, our place, is made, not as Jikinap had intended to make it, but by a Person whose only Power is Change. That Power is in the land. That Power is in every plant and every animal. It's in every stone and every person. That Power is in the sea. It makes us what we are."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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