Ascension (Water, #1)Ascension by Kara Dalkey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just what the doctor ordered to provide a lighter diversion alongside Wolf Hall. I am not regretting spending actual money on the ebook. The intended audience is probably preteen – I would say ages 10-13. But I’m an adult and enjoyed it. The author has created a (mostly) believable underwater world (Atlantis, after it sank). The mermyds are very humanlike – some, like Nia, even have legs instead of tails – and they can breathe out of water. Nia is a spunky, likeable heroine. Some reviewers have criticized all the details about the city and its history, but that is what is bringing it alive for me. I like lots of details, and I think children do too – it’s what puts you into the story. I also like the sci fi elements (the squidlike Farworlders who exist in a sort of symbiotic relationship to the mermyds). Nothing overtly Arthurian in this first book of the trilogy – this is a teenaged Niniane long before she becomes the “Lady of the Lake.” I am looking forward to finding out how she gets there….

Book Description
The sea is the birthplace of legends.

Nia, a young mermyd of the Bluefin clan, has had one wish all her life — to be an Avatar in her beloved home of Atlantis. The ten Avatars rule the beautiful and peaceful undersea city alongside the ancient Farworlders, whose magic keeps their world alive. To be an Avatar is an honor and a great responsibility, and Nia dreams of taking her place among the noble ten.

Now, at sixteen, Nia has a chance to see her dream come true. Atlantis is choosing its next Avatar, and Nia knows she is supremely qualified.

But there is something Nia doesn’t know — if she gets her heart’s desire, it could mean the end of her treasured world of Atlantis forever.


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