The Lure of Shapinsay
Author: Krista Holle
Date of Publication: December 16th, 2011
Publisher: Sweet River Romance
Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.First off, let me ask you this: how often have you seen a book about Selkies as you browsed through your local book store?
Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.
Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?
Not often, am I right?
There are so many paranormal and supernatural creatures in YA these days that I honestly thought nothing could surprise me, but then I saw that this book was about Selkie folklore.
Selkies are creatures that live as seals in the water but can take the form of man on land by "taking off their skin"--I swear it's not as gruesome as it sounds!! Both male and female selkies are extraordinarily beautiful and have a long history of tempting humans. The humans of Shapinsay, a small island near Scotland, are fearful of selkies because many women have been lured to a watery death by male selkies.
Holle's simplistic, yet beautiful descriptions of the land and sea made it super easy to picture Shapinsay in my head. The Scottish accent/dialogue also helped bring setting alive. I loved the olden-days vibe of the story--and, believe me, that is not something I say very often!
Kait, the main character, was a great heroine--strong and stubborn and independent. She and Eamon, the Selkie, have a rather interesting relationship because the lines between being Lured and actual Love are so blurred I couldn't really tell which one was in play at times. This gave their love story an insta-love vibe which I wasn't too crazy about, but nevertheless, I rooted for them because there were some seriously sweet scenes between them.
Rating: 3.5 stars*
All in all: I really liked the fact that Holle explored selkie folkore in her novel, the concept is very original and fresh. I wasn't a huge fan of the instalove-bordering-on-obsession relationship between Kait and Eamon, but I found the book enjoyable nonetheless.
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.