Let me start of by saying that I loved the cover of the book. Take a look at it, whats not to love. The sad part though, it does not do justice to the story. There is no relation between the cover and the story inside.
Simon, a young librarian, lives alone in a crumbling house on the edge of a cliff. His parents are dead. His mother drowned and soon after his dad died out of grief. He has one sister, Enola who is a free spirit and does not live with him. He has one neighbor, Frank who is like a father figure to him.
One day a mysterious book arrives at his doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller. The book is sent to him as it had his grandmother's inscription. He never knew that his ancestors were performers and so the book starts. As he digs deep into the book he finds a story, a pattern, lots of magic, tarot and the dark secret. The pattern being that all the women in his family are amazing swimmers but they die young, due to drowning. It cant be a coincidence....is it a curse?
There are two stories running parallel in the book. One is set in the present and the other in the late 1700's which follows a wild mute boy Amos, a tarot reader Ryzkhova and a mermaid. The book goes back and forth between the past and the present.
Simon gets worried that the day around which all the women in his family die is just 2 weeks away. Can he save his sister before the water gulps her too? Is it a curse? Can he break the curse and set free? Is the curse about him or his sister.
The book follows circus performers so there is magic, performances, drama, love, tragedy and tarot cards. As a first time writer, I think Erika has done an amazing job. The story is gripping and the characters are believable. There are a few illustrations in the book which help in visually understanding the point of the author. The language is simple and the words flow freely.
The book is well written but unfortunately the end looses emotions and falls flat. The author should have maintained the excitement till the end. Don't get me wrong, the end Is good but one feels like all of a sudden the magic is gone. That being said if you like magic,circus, mermaids, splendor then this book is for you.