Rise of the Sea Witch (Unfortunate Soul Chronicles Book 1)

Young Adult

FAIRYTALE:  Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, daughter of Poseidon and sister of Trident, is a headstrong young woman. Desperate for her father's love and attention, she works hard to excel and become a great leader for her people. When a war breaks out with the humans, choices are made that put Vanessa in direct competition with her brother, Trident. "Rise of the Sea Witch" tells the story of how the Princess became a villain and how the battle for the sea came to pass. 

Stacey Rourke has taken characters from mythology and film to create the beginning of a series with  a lot of promise. There is a very big hint of a "Little Mermaid"-type prequel. Vanessa is a strong character who works hard to do the right thing, but the actions of others cause her to lose her way. The relationship with her brother is well-displayed in the narrative with several good scenes between them. As Vanessa gives in to her true fate, there are action scenes with a lot of vivid description of different sea creatures and their movements. It really adds to the reader's experience. There are several times when there was more telling rather than showing, however. As the first book in the Unfortunate Soul Chronicles series, an intriguing premise and compelling characters will have readers eager for the next installment. 

Lynn-Alexandria McKendrick