by Sharon Lee

Baen, $14.00, 306 pages

Kate Archer has returned to the home she abandoned years ago – Archer Beach. After her mistake cost a friend his life, Kate abandoned her oath as a Guardian of the land and fled to the ‘normal’ world to die. But the recent disappearance of her grandmother has brought her back to Archer Beach and in search of answers. Working with a selkie, Borgan, and her grandmother’s odd friend, Mr. Ignatious, Kate investigates the mystery of her grandmother’s absence and starts to realize that second chances are possible after all.

In Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee has created a world that feels both real and mystical. The characters feel real, despite their supernatural status, and the dialogue is refreshingly normal. The first part of the book is slow in pace and initially leaves the reader in the dark about the characters and power of the town, despite Kate having this information. The book picks up speed toward the middle, however, and is engaging to the end. Readers of fantasy and sci-fi will enjoy this novel.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern