Book Review: Between the Sea and Stars (Lena #1)

Title: Between the Sea and Stars

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Pub. Date: June 19, 2018

Pages: 266

Pub: The Parliament House

Genre: YA Fantasy Retellings

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


A Legend, 
A Magical Shell 
A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More… 

Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea. 

When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land. 

With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner. 

Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. I’ve been loving Angels and Vamps a lot lately, so it only makes sense to throw mermaids into the mix. And this was the mermaid/The Little Mermaid retelling book I’ve been dying for.

Thank goodness the second one just came out, (I bought it) because I’m dying after how it ended.

At this point, I’ve read quite a few books published by The Parliament House and they really haven’t disappointed. This book is no exception. I didn’t really have any expectations going in, and this book instantly became a new favorite. It was so good. I didn’t even realize it was less than 300 pages. The pacing was perfect, the plot engaging and shocking, the characters realistic and full of depth. This book had me feeling all sorts of emotions – like legit visceral emotional reactions to certain characters.

I loved that this is clearly inspired by The Little Mermaid, but also keeps them as predators. They’re not gentle creatures. I loved the darker edge to this book; it was so good.

And the characters! I loved them – well, 2 of them can go kick a bag of rocks and drown. Terrible, entitled, vile little shits. You know the Lord (or whatever tf he was) from Pocahontas – the Disney version – the one with the dog…yeah, there’s a character in this book that straight up reminded me of him. So just skeevy, treacherous and a dick.

Lena is such a good character. She inquisitive and fun and just wants to live her life the way she wants to. And when things take a turn for the worse, she makes do with a crap situation – she finds the light, a purpose. She makes friends, finds people she can trust, and despite it all, for the first time, she’s seemingly found what she’s always wanted. I loved her.

Jace…well, I had high hopes.

But Sorin Emil…phew. You put a cute, attentive, bookish guy in a book as a potential love interest, and I’m going to be sunk. Absolute trash. I loved him. He drops a little twist towards the end, but I think it just added to his character. He’s so wonderful and sweet.

The way he is with Lena – it feels so utterly genuine and adorable. The way he’s kind to her, puts her needs before his own…

I know that doesn’t seem like a high bar, but in this instant, the Golden Retriever Puppy Guy is the superior choice, hands down.

I loved the world building and the lore that was included in this book. The way Chantal took the story of the Little Mermaid and tugged and twisted into something brand new, but still familiar is amazing. This book had the same air of dramatic moments the Disney Film had. The kind that has you holding your breath and hoping and praying that characters make the right decisions.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. The ending might break you, but the second and final book is out, so you can just inhale the duology. My copy came in, so you already know what I’m reading this weekend. Pick this book up – you won’t regret it.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Between the Sea and Stars (Lena #1)

  1. Since this book is The Little Mermaid retelling, I must say that I really liked the plot. I love how fast and steady the pacing is! The writing is good but I think it still can be better. Chantal’s writing has a very large room to grow.


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