"In this fantasy series opener, Sherman (Ocean Depths: A Time, 2017) deftly explores the concepts of healing and transformation—both emotional and literal—by viewing Greek myth through a Twilight-style lens."– Kirkus Reviews
This third installment of a YA series finds a teenager trapped in the past after reuniting with her love.
With the help of her Grandma Anne and a magic spell, 18-year-old Callista Ann Pacii has traveled several centuries into the past. She’s on Nanwe, an island that will someday be discovered by the HMS Bounty and renamed Pitcairn. Escaping a present where her connection to Lord Triton isn’t certain, Callista has luckily reunited with a younger version of her merman. Yet King Poseidon’s son—who’s been cast from the royal family because of his love for Nehalennia, his brother’s betrothed—still answers to his mother, Queen Amphitrite. The queen and Triton’s Aunt Tethys summon him to ensure that he love Callista the best he can and not worry about his future. But Callista is determined to escape the boredom, privation, and natives of Nanwe and go back to her own time. After several attempts at the return spell fail, she allows Triton to comfort her with fabulous meals and magical fashion creations. Eventually, the two sail from Nanwe on a majestic Carrack destined for Australia. Though life with Triton is adventurous and often ideal, Callista still faces challenges like Isabel, the lord’s former “coupling assignment”; Myraena, a vengeful serpentine goddess; and a savagely instigated, if potentially joyous, life event. In this volume, Sherman (Ocean Depths: A Time, 2017, etc.) offers her protagonists paradise before hurling them into dire straits. Triton, as always, skirts the line between chivalrous and creepy when he says: “This is exactly what I want to do, watching you sleep, listening in on your dreams and thinking about us.” Interludes leave the lovers behind to visit the present, where Grandma Anne and Callista’s friend Jazz are the only people who remember the time-traveling protagonist thanks to another spell. Nehalennia, the lost mermaid whose beauty launched the series’ drama, threatens to become entwined with Callista in an astounding manner. The author leaves readers with a sinister cliffhanger sure to generate gasps. Vibrant color paintings by Sherman enliven the journey throughout.
An engaging tale that merges fantasy drama and leisurely romance.
This YA debut sees a teenager’s car accident expose her connection to the supposedly mythological Poseidon.
High school senior Callista Ann Sunders and her twin brother, Tad, live on the coast of southern California with their family. Meredith, their mom, is a lawyer, but their father died from a heart attack two years ago. Grandma Anne runs a store called The Broom and Trident and knows that the family has Selkie (sea folk) blood running through it. One day, Anne has a vision and tells Callista: “Don’t drive in the rain today.” Later, as Callista drives to pick up Tad from swim practice, a vehicle forces her truck from the rain-slicked road, through the guardrail, and into the ocean. She struggles to escape the rapidly flooding cabin when a dashing rescuer appears. Callista’s hero is none other than Triton of Greek mythology. He gets her to the hospital, where she lies comatose thanks to the toxic sting of a stonefish. Meanwhile, Tad experiences an elaborate dream that reveals Prince Triton once trysted with Princess Nehalennia, who had been betrothed to his half brother, Proteus. This got Triton banished from Poseidon’s royal family. Triton has now dedicated his life to medicine and plans to keep the bewitching Callista safe even if it means the draining of his own godlike energy. In this fantasy series opener, Sherman (Ocean Depths: A Time, 2017) deftly explores the concepts of healing and transformation—both emotional and literal—by viewing Greek myth through a Twilight-style lens. The author’s own illustrations depict key moments, like Callista’s near death in the truck and Triton and Proteus in merman form, further transporting readers to the shore and beneath the sea. Though Callista spends much of her time convalescing, she does have the presence of mind to ask the mysterious Triton: “Why would someone of your education, age, good looks, and health be interested in me?” Indeed, the answer combines numerous captivating motifs (including mermaid dreams and witchcraft), yet the primary narrative arc—the romance—is paced quite slowly. Readers expecting a strong heroine may flinch at Callista’s dependence on Triton’s healing touch and lavish home. The author also throws down the gauntlet when Triton says: “Life starts from conception for us all.” Fractious events and surprise returns clear the decks for the sequel.
A leisurely plotted fantasy series opener.