Amalie Howard. Harlequin Teen, $9.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-373-21105-0
Combining high school romance with fantasy and SF elements, Howard (Bloodspell) launches her Aquarathi series, about an alien race taking shelter in Earth's seas. Nerissa Marin is a high school junior in San Diego; secretly, she's also the heir to the Aquarathi throne, hiding in the human world after the assassination of her father by the usurper Ehmora. Like Hamlet, Nerissa feels compelled to avenge her father's murder and take her rightful place as ruler, but fear, indecision, and her affections for fellow student Lo cloud her resolve. Readers won't gain much of a sense of the Aquarathi world in Howard's first installment; the narrative provides only glimpses of the kingdom and its inhabitants as Nerissa is embroiled in a lackluster love story in a realistic high school setting; late revelations add weight to the somewhat insubstantial passion between Nerissa and Lo. Nerissa's smartest move is to confide in her human best friend Jenna—smart, spunky, and believably incredulous, she's the story's best-realized character on water or land. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lisa Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4603-2102-7
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