Four Stars, Low Language, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

Part of Your World

I have a confession: The Little Mermaid will always hold a special place in my heart. I was eight when it came out, and it was one of the first movies I saw on the big screen. I went with my best friend and felt so grown up. I remember the following summer we would go to the local pool and try to do that dolphin dive she does, I’m sure we looked ridiculous.

I admittedly got really excited when I saw a post from another author recommending a new series about, what else, a mermaid! Okay, technically Haelo is not really a mermaid she’s Candeon, but close enough, and my eight year old heart knew I had to read it!

T.M. Holladay‘s books Hiding Haelo and Haelo Hunted were unique and delightful.

“Though practically a mermaid, Haelo Marley lives an otherwise ordinary life in San Diego, California. Sensing auras and summoning ocean currents are Candeon capabilities she’s kept secret from the humans around her. But not everyone—including Haelo—is who they seem. When the memory of an underwater battle surfaces in her dreams, Haelo realizes there is more to her story than she thought. And Dagger, the only other Candeon at school, might have the answers she needs. Haelo suddenly finds herself both a target and a key player in a game she’s not sure she’s willing to play.”

The author kept me guessing for awhile on where everyone’s allegiance lied, I loved the intrigue and loved even more that it wasn’t obvious who was on the good side, or even which side was good. I was fascinated that her “mermaid’s” setting was on land, not sea and captivated by the background and depth of the characters.

I felt like there were some plot holes being glossed over in “Hiding Haelo”, but it turns out I was just impatient and most of the glaring questions were addressed through the end of the second book. Though obviously not all, like a great author she’s got to keep us in suspense through the whole series.

I have not been very subtle about my feelings on love triangles, however I am aware that they can serve a very real purpose in pulling a reader into not just a story, but the emotions of the characters. When done well it’s almost impossible to choose a side, you can’t be “team” either because of how invested you are in all the characters. T.M. Holladay has you so invested in not just the characters but the outcome of all the Candeon’s that it’s an impossible choice.

“Haelo Hunted” just came out on September 22nd and ended on such a cliff hanger, that I’m anxious for the next installment. Can’t wait to read it! Isn’t that a mark of a good book? –N.C.


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