Monday, July 16, 2012

MG Book Review: The Tide Changers, by Sandy Green


General Information
Publisher:  Penumbra Publishing
Year of publication:  2011
# of chapters:  13
# of pages:  (e-book)
Genre:  Paranormal/Sci-Fi
Website:  sandygreen.webs.com




Plot summary (from the author's website):  

For a thirteen-year-old kid who lives right by the ocean, Ford Kahr has never been a great swimmer. In fact, he sinks like a rock in the water. He’s actually afraid to swim in the ocean after his dad, a marine biologist and experienced scuba diver, disappeared off the shore of their hotel in Cape Lore, New Jersey, three years ago.

As klutzy as Ford is in the water, his older brother Jag is a junior swimming champ, and his younger sister Mercedes has a mystical connection to the water that Ford can’t explain. But when Jag swims out to investigate the disappearing island past the jetty, Ford uncovers an amazing secret that puts a new spin on his relationship with the ocean. The ocean harbors a whole other world beneath its surface that Mercy and Ford must explore – hoping they’ll find some clue to the disappearance of their father and the astonishing secret they share about the water.

Legends of underwater people and stories of scary sea monsters push Ford and his sister to discover the truth about what’s really out there in the ocean depths.

Positive Points
The story takes place in an unusual setting, an underwater world with intriguing creatures and wonderful scenery. Anything can happen in a made-up world. It kept me interested throughout the book. Very well developed.

Once I got into the story, I looked forward to finding out what would happen next. The plot moved forward at a good pace, and had interesting twists and turns.

The characters are unique and believable. Although I would have liked a little more depth, the three children had unique characteristics that made me easy to picture them in my mind. Ford is a little worried in the water, unlike his elder brother Jag, who's a swimming champion. Their little sister, Mercedes, has some kind of disability, but has a very sweet personality and hidden talents unknown to the other two. It's interesting to note that all three children were named after car brands.

Negative Points
The dad disappeared three years ago, and he could be somewhere in that underwater world Ford and his sister discovered, but I didn't feel they were determined to find him. They gave me the impression of just wanting to explore, wondering if he could be in there. I would have liked a stronger hook, a deeper desire to find their dad, at all costs. As it is now, the hook wasn't strong enough for me.

Some of the characters' reactions didn't make sense to me. I would have liked to dig deeper into their personalities. A better transition between each character's moods and reactions would improve the flow and make their reactions appear less rushed or choppy.

There were too many internal questions spelled out for the reader. Those are questions that should come to the reader's mind without being mentioned, if the novel achieves what it should. It's a lot more satisfying to read a story when things are left unsaid for the readers to figure out on their own.

What makes this book unique
The underwater world, definitely. I loved it. What could be more fascinating than exploring an unseen world under the water, filled with very impressive beings that transform into different shapes, and intriguing elements, such as singing rocks, a seashell that holds a mystery, and seastar flowers that taste like anything you want them to taste like?

Overall Impression
The setting is great, and the story itself is intriguing and unique. I would have liked to see a little stronger writing, but overall it was a good read.

My Rating:


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3 comments:

tfwalsh said...

As always, a great review Annie. I do like the sound of the underground world in this book:)

Lexa Cain said...

Too many internal questions are a pet peeve of mine. It makes the character seem constantly confused and come off as weak instead of decisive. Maybe that's not so bad in MG, but it's definitely a turn-off in YA.
I really enjoyed reading the review, Annie! :-)

Marcia said...

Yes, I noticed Ford, Jag, and Mercedes.

Well, it's at least a little different than naming all the kids after fictional characters, which is getting really overdone.

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