Teen Book Review

Northeast Library

Teen Book Review

"Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits"

Drip, drop.  Drip, drop.  Thirsty yet? We could probably all use something nice and cold to drink to cool off in this heat.  But if that’s not in reach, why not try reading Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson?  It’s a great short story collection that will submerge you in some of the best teen fantasy anyone has ever read.  If you want to find out more, read on.

Krakens and Merfolk.  Selkies and Sea Dragons?  Ever wonder what really lurks beneath the waves and inspired those fantastic tales?  Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson must be interested in them, since they have created six short stories about these creatures with a modern fantasy twist: mermaids are rescued from capture in Puritan Massachusetts; a farm girl finds true love with the son of a sea king; and the sea king’s daughter deals with otherworldly kraken and its impossible demands.  Another girl must defend her island home from a destructive horse made of water.  All these tales and more can be found in this impeccable fantasy collection.

This anthology has marvelous and detailed settings ranging from under the sea to a sweeping desert.  The creatures in these tales are truly alien and illustrate how uncomfortable we can be with water and the mysteries and dangers surrounding it.

The stories in this book have plots filled with action and intrigue, in addition to a good dose of mystery.  All the main characters of the various stories go through a lot of development, and even the supporting characters have some good changes. Almost all the protagonists are female, so paranormal romance fans may be eager to read these stories after they finish Twilight. The authors do use some of the characters and events from their main fantasy series, which will make some readers eager to delve into those rich tales for more information. 

Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits is the first book in a series by the authors of short story anthologies based around elemental fantasy creatures.  The second book, Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits has just recently arrived in the DC Public Library system.  Both books are recommended for late tween to mid-teen readers.  Check them out today. 

--by Brandon Digwood