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Friday, August 29, 2014

Rifted by Sutton Shields (Review & Character Guest Post)

Mermaid, YA
Publication Date:May 24, 2014
Published By:  Author
WebsiteRifted on Goodreads

Sutton Shields' Website
My review copy:Gift from Author in turn for honest review.

Where to get:

  Someone wicked walks among them.

  Heartbreak usually requires time to heal. For Marina Valentine, however, time has other plans: like sticking her with a shiny, stubborn accessory, sending her on a surprising date with someone other than Troy Tombolo, and introducing her lips to kisses that could save or destroy everything and everyone.

  Marina and the rest of the Mer-Nor gang must find a way to push through the grief caused by The Dealer, for their next mission will take them on a dangerous, scandal-filled journey that may very well be the most significant to date: hunt down the evidence they need to prove once and for all that the tyrannical King Zale breached the water pact.

  But with the shocking identity of The Dealer and overwhelming guilt weighing heavily on her, Marina struggles with frightening emotional urges and begins to question whether she is truly strong enough to succeed as the all-important Siren Savior.

  Marina is in more danger than ever before—even inside the familiar study with her trusted friends—because unbeknownst to her, someone has been lurking about, waiting for the chance to undo everything the Mer-Nor gang has achieved…and with the Siren Savior’s doubt growing, that person’s chance has finally arrived.

  "Not exactly," he said, kneeling down.  He turned and held his hand out to me.  "Follow the merman down the hole, Alice."
"Look, we don't want war.  Who does?  But King and Queen Bat-Crap Crazy haven't really left us with many options.  It's a fight or die kind of thing.  Our goal is freedom and peace; theirs is oppression.  So, to sum it up...stop being a hard-ass and just give us the freaking coin!"
  I'm a fish.  GAG.  I have scales.  Gag.  Dear Mother of God and all things holy in life, WHY?  WHY do you make the formerly fish-phobic, now fish-tolerant girl a gosh dan aquatic creature?!
I didn't think there was enough left of my heart to break.  That was the funny thing about hearts, I guess   they always grow back just enough to be shattered time and time again. 

I Simply Can't Get Enough...

  Sutton Shields is quite simply brilliant.  There is so much heart and soul poured into every single one of her books, that I find it extremely hard to put them down.  Rifted the third book in this series was no exception.  The book picked right up where Overfalls left off and it was everything that I could have wanted and more.  The plot did thicken and the twists became more severe, creating a huge dramatic turn or turns I should say.  There were so many points that I thought I might finally have the hang of what was going on, only to have my feet pulled out from under me and possibly thrown back a little.  However, this book never failed once when it came to keeping my attention.

  There is never a fail in world building or pacing with these books.  In fact despite this being book three, there is always some place new to see and love.  There is yet to be a time when I do not feel that I am in the place that the characters are.  It is like there is no detail too small, and every detail just adds to the vivid world.  I will never get over the feeling of falling into the world Shields has created, and honestly I love that she always has something new and quirky to add to the mix.  This being said you would think all of these details would slow the pacing down but it doesn't.  Somehow every detail that is needed is there, and yet the action and change roles on without hesitation.  There was also a huge twist in this one that I just did not see coming.  I guess that happened in the last book as well, but this blew me away.  Like beyond finding out that something is happening that no one knew about the traitor was way more major than I could have ever anticipated.  The development actually had me reading back a few pages to see what I missed and then analyzing everything up until that point, just to make sure that I didn't read it all wrong.  Brilliant as it was, it completely threw me, but I loved every minute...  Minus the worry I had.

  Oh, how I love Mariana.  She is amazing and her personality is so fun.  What I also love is that she grows in every book, and yet she manages to make mistakes still.  She is so beyond not perfect and yet she is perfectly her, and perfectly the role that she needs to be.  The mistakes that she makes are not ones that you want to strangle her for,but ones that even reading and knowing everything going on, I can say many of them I probably would have made myself.  What is important is the inner strength, and the love for those around her that she holds above all else.  Yes, she is someone important in this world but she still sees everyone else as more important than herself.  She does still have some insecurity problems due to the past happenings, but given her loss and people digging in the wounds I can't say I wouldn't feel the same way.  Mariana is easily one of my favourite fictional heroines, and I anticipate every book she is in for that reason.

  Troy has gained my trust and kind of my heart.  Him and I have had a shifty relationship, that included me not believing that he was good enough for the amazing Mariana.  However, he is constantly proving that he is worth her now.  Not that their relationship is perfect.  They actually faced more relationship problems than ever before (which is saying a lot considering he once was basically an enemy), but they as always are pushing through the crap.  There were moments that I was not sure if they would make it, I hoped but I wasn't sure.  It was almost a relief that these moments came from Mariana, not because of Troy.  I am now officially enjoying the relationship these two have and believe that Troy may just be good enough from my girl Mariana.

  All of the supporting characters were really starting to make me wish they each had their own book.  Sutton breathes life into every character that she writes and gives them their own unique quirks, but now they each seem to be creating their own stories.  Not that Shields moves away from the main story, but I can see each background pulling the characters into greater things or having a book of their own from their before lives.  I will probably always favour Polly and her Christmas Demon, because heck how do you not giggle when a girl start regurgitating Christmas paraphernalia.  That and she despite all of the demon bits going on, is an amazingly loyal friend that you do not want to mess with.  I especially kind of like the thing she may or may not have going on with a certain naughty Angel ;)

  Rifted was a mind blowing third instalment to this series.  I was shocked in ways that I can't explain (literally it would spoil the entire book), and I am not sure I would believe anyone if they told me that they could see it coming.  Sutton Shields upped the game and the stakes in this book. It's like every time the good guys get ahead, the bad guys discover some sneaky way to get the upper hand back.  If you haven't started this series, I tell you with all seriousness you need to.  Every book is more than Mermaids, magic and mystery; they are packed with quirky, memorable and strong characters that will have you wanting more every time.  If you are a fan of YA reads, give this series a try, start with book one (Finned) and become addicted like I have!

When the Fish-Phobic Girl Met the Merman

Supernatural hot guy meets not-so-ordinary human girl, she strongly dislikes his jackass-y-ness, and he makes her gag.  Yeah, the road to love was gonna be a bumpy one.

The girl: Marina Valentine, fish-phobic, sorta super-human with tricky gag reflex, particularly around fish.

The boy: Troy Tombolo, hot merman.

Not exactly the ideal foundation for a lasting relationship. Yet, they’re determined to defy the odds (and, holy crud, are those odds against them).

The First Mission: De-jackass Troy & Get Marina to NOT Hate Him.

Troy, smirking: “I’d never met a Normal like her. She was a spitfire. Didn’t put up with my crap.”
Marina: “And, boy, were you full of crap.”

[laughs all around]

Troy: “I was an ass when we first met. First-class jerk.”
Marina: “And a Neanderthal.”
Troy [nodding]: “Yep, that too. Thanks for the reminder.”
Marina, shrugging one shoulder: “Never a problem. Have a memory like an elephant.”
Troy: “Hey, at least I can own up to my asshole ways.”
Marina: “You are good with holding yourself accountable, I’ll give ya that.”
Troy: “Man, you really hated me back then.” [laughs]
Marina: “I didn’t hate you…okay, I kinda hated you.” [laughs] “You could piss me off quicker than my always expanding butt. I liked you, too, though. It was annoying. Of course, I didn’t know you were a merman with a seriously screwed up past. That kind of thing would make anybody a wad.”
Troy, crossing his arms: “You giving me a reprieve for my crappy guy behavior?”
Marina, cocking her head towards the ceiling: “Hmm, nope, that’s all on you, buddy.”
Troy, chuckling: “Fair enough. We eventually became friends, though. I wore her down.”
Marina: “Yeah, like a flu bug that’s immune to the vaccine.”

[Troy tickles Marina]

Marina, laughing and shoving him: “Okay! Okay! We did become friends, good friends…but, come on, admit it—you were so in love with me, even then. Just admit it…it’s okay, they know. Go on...”
Troy, laughing: “Now, why would I admit that?”
Marina: “Because if you don’t, I’ll tell your sister how her super speedy mermobile really got that dent.”
Troy, smirk disappearing, eyes widening: “Yep, I loved her, even then. It was the damndest feeling. Never felt anything like it before. This snarky, stubborn little redheaded human swooped in and flipped my world upside down…and that’s hard to do to a merman.”

The Second Mission: Operation Stop Gagging.

Troy: “So, now we’re friends moving into the next phase. I knew we were gonna have trouble when you gagged over the whiff of a crab puff.”
Marina: “I hate seafood. Who can eat something that smells…” [suppresses a potential gag] “…you know…dead?”
Troy: “Do you remember the first time you saw my fin?”
Marina: “How could forget?! I was about to be eaten by a gigantic shark—we’re talking a freaking Syfy movie brand of shark.”
Troy: “Don’t forget the giant squid that nearly ripped you in half.”
Marina: “Yeah, apparently I make great bait. It’s probably my fluorescent red hair—I swear it glows in the dark. Anyway, Troy had to battle the beasts and save me in his mer-form.”
Troy, grinning: “Your reaction to my fin…”
Marina: “I, um, gasped underwater and nearly choked.”
Troy: “And?”
Marina, cringing: “Gags…and hives. It wasn’t one of my best ‘me’ moments.”
Troy: “On the contrary, I think it was one of your most memorable moments. You had me wrapped so tight around your finger by then, it didn’t matter if you gagged every damn time I flashed my fin. I was yours.”
Marina, grabbing his hand: “Aww! See? All I had to do was de-jerkify him and, voila, instant sigh-worthy merman. Well, almost instant. You still had a few moments, like in the cave...which would have been pretty damn hot by the way, if you had just—”
Troy: “Kept my mouth shut? I know. I was a work in progress.”
Marina, giggling: “That you were. But you made up for everything on Valentine's Day. And by the time we had our first trip underwater to his world...oh, he was just so romantic and exciting! Apart from a few humiliations, the inflate-a-tit girls, and the almost dying thing, it was perfect!”
Troy: “Your gags held together nicely, for the most part.”
Marina: “Yeah, I think I was too in awe to think about gagging. I mean, aside from that gag moment during dinner, I was in a world most people only dream about—you just don’t gag when you’re living the fairy tale.”
Troy, smirking: “A semi-warped, slightly scary fairy tale.”
Marina: “Oh, well, yeah, it’s totally screwed up, but, hey, if you dissect even the happiest fairy tale, you’ll find it’s rooted in twisted stuff.”

**Author Note: Marina’s gagging was taken directly from my own pesky gag reflex, a trait I inherited from my mom. The smell of fish will typically send me into instant gag-mode. Sometimes nerves will trigger the gags (a la Marina’s ‘dating’ gag). Basically, it’s fairly sporadic and entirely wired to humiliate me.

The Third Mission: Operation ‘Stay Together’…or Operation Survival
Troy, kissing Marina’s hand: “We’ve done pretty well so far, Rubylocks.”
Marina: “Yeah, I mean we’re hanging in there, despite things like the merbitch, the psychotic king, and crazy-ass-merqueen. I’m in it for the long haul, even if that haul has a rapidly approaching expiration date.”
Troy: “All hauls have an expiration date—we just have to keep pushing it further and further into the future.”
Marina: “I’m all for that. The longer we can defeat the odds, the better our chances.”
Troy: “And at least you don’t gag when you touch my fin.”
Marina: “Oh, his fin is so dang sexy. I have no problems, um, petting him.”


Troy: “So, theoretically, you should be able to pet a clownfish.”
Marina: [GAG]
Troy: “Or not.”
Friends on Marina & Troy’s Future:

Meikle, the witch: “They’re doomed.”

Polly, the demon soul swapper: “Well, that’s morbid, Meeks, which isn’t surprising coming from you. Personally, I think Troy needs to engage Marina in sexual role play. That way, they’ll have some satisfying moments before war begins and we all die.”

Jex, the sexy, Aussie sorta-angel: “Christ, Polly. And you call Meeks morbid?! Honestly, noteveryone will die. At least, I don't think so. Never know, though. What? Oh, you want my opinion on the Savior and Troy’s future? Right…uh, don’t care really. 'Course if things were to crumble, I’ll be here waiting for the Savior with open wings. I’m quite skilled at stroking hurting hearts, among other things… Look, Marina and Troy have a difficult road ahead, as we all do. Their love is strong, but is it strong enough to survive what’s to come? That’s really the question, isn’t it?”

Yes, Jex, that really is the question.

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