Beached by Ros Baxter

Beached by Ros Baxter(Cover picture courtesy of NetGalley.)

How far will a gentle sea princess go to save the home she loves?

When the clerk at a burger joint is assaulted for trying to sell a fish burger to a hot blonde, it’s just the beginning of a clash between Land and Sea. The world is going mad, and Princess Lecanora is on a special mission to stop it. There are just a few complications…

First, life on the land is a bit harder to adjust to than expected, what with the wearing of clothing and the consuming of delicious (but pointless) calories. Second, the most evil magician the world has ever seen wants her as his bride — consensually or otherwise. Finally, a completely inappropriate gun-toting mercenary who goes against every one of her pacifist principles keeps rocking her world.

As the forces of darkness gather, Lecanora must come to terms with the lengths she will go to in order to save the sea home she has always known, and the land she has come to love.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

When I requested this book through NetGalley I had no idea this was the second book in a trilogy.  Even when I went to check on Goodreads there was no clear indication this was part of a series, so I went ahead and requested it unsuspectingly.  Still, I’ll try my best to give Beached a fair review.  (If you’re curious, Fish Out of Water is the first book.)

This one for me was a solid ‘meh’.  Sure the characters were fascinating and I could definitely appreciate the world-building but this book lacked emotion.  I was being told Lecanora was confused, sad and/or in love, but I never really felt it.  Even when there was supposedly a heart-wrenching death scene, I never really felt the grief of all the characters that witnessed it.  Ros Baxter’s writing just lacked emotion.

Otherwise, her characters were good.  I like how Rania is a tough-talking cop (one of my favourite types of heroines).  She’s an actual strong female and I liked seeing her compared to Lecanora, who is more gentle and naive about the world of humans.  I liked Rania better than I liked Lecanora, but that’s more of a personal preference than anything.  Despite the lack of emotion, Lecanora was well fleshed-out and I could relate to her struggle to find who she is and who she wants to be.

The plot was very fast-paced.  There was twist after twist and although the ending was a little predictable, I appreciated the fact that the climax itself was not.  Overall I really couldn’t tell where the story was going and Ros Baxter’s writing kept me on the edge of my seat.  She has a talent for suspense and I suspect with a little work on the emotional side of her writing that she could make my top 10 list of favourite authors.  As it is, I generally liked the characters, the world-building and the plot but the lack of emotion was a definite downside.

The world-building was fascinating.  I liked how Ros Baxter borrowed from Norse mythology to create Aegira rather than going for your typical sort of mermaid story.  The way the rulers of Aegira are chosen because of their curse is fascinating as well and I liked how that plot point was resolved by the end.  Obviously I missed out on some things because I didn’t read the first book, but there was enough of a summary in the first few chapters that I could get the gist of what happened in the first book.

So overall?  A decent novel, but it would have been better with some more emotion.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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