Open Door

Open Door

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: On Shark, No Swim

The Niuhi Shark Saga
One Shark, No Swim
by Lehua Parker

There’s something bugging adopted Zader Westin, something more troubling than his water allergies where one drop on his skin burns like hot lava. It’s bigger than his new obsession with knives, designing the new murals for the pavilion with Mr. Halpert, or dealing with Char Siu’s Lauele Girlz scotch tape makeover. Zader can’t stop thinking about a dream, the dream that might not have been a dream where Lē‘ia called him brother then jumped into the ocean and turned into a shark.

Zader’s got a lot of questions, not the least being why he’s hungry all the time, restless at night, and why he feels a constant itch on the back of his neck. It’s making him feel like teri chicken on a pūpū platter, but Zader doesn’t want to think about chicken, not with his growing compulsion to slip it down his throat—raw.

With Jay busy at surf camp and Uncle Kahana pretending nothing’s happening, Zader’s left alone to figure things out, including why someone—something—is stalking him before it’s too late.

Summer in Lauele Town, Hawaii just got a little more interesting…

The weather turned a little colder this week, and I needed a vacation, so I decided to spend the weekend in my mind at least. Lehua Parker's second book, One Shark, No Swim, in The Niuhi Shark Saga just came out, and I thought it was a good excuse to curl up on the couch with my son and a warm blanket to see what Zader, Jay, and Uncle Kahana are up to.

Let me tell you why I love this series. For me, the greatest part is Lehua’s connection to not only the Hawaii culture, but the twelve-year-old boy experience. Sure, Zader’s a Niuhi god, but he still has to deal with the same growing pains as all boys, like impressing his art teacher, always being hungry, deciding if he likes make-up on girls, and how to be a bully blocker without becoming too aggressive himself.

I have a son who is close to Zader’s age, and I find it difficult to find good literature both appealing to this middle-grade boy market and a mom’s sensibilities. This book does! My son loves the sharks and the supernatural element. I love the cultural diversity and Lehua’s witty, wry humor. If you like to read with your kids, it’s a win for everyone.
One Boy, No Water can be purchased at bookstores and via:            

One Shark, No Swim can be purchased at bookstores and via:         

Connect with Lehua Parker:
Blog & Free Short Stories:
All things Niuhi Shark Saga:
Twitter: @LehuaParker

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review - Beatrysel

For the past two days, I’ve been haunted by a demon.  She has consumed my every waking moment, either with deep thoughts or tentative looks over my shoulder to see if there was more to the shadow lurking in the hallway.  Her name—Beatrysel. 
Even as I cleanse my house with incense and holy water, I’m struck with the mastery in which this story was delivered.  I’ve never actually read a novel where the premise was written in present tense third person before, and I must admit the style threw me for a loop at first.  But once I got the hang of the delivery (about three chapters in), I realized it was brilliant.  The pacing gave a sense of urgency to Julian’s plight all the way to the last page.
The plot was terrifying in a way that only possession can be.  Mr. Worthen obviously has a vast knowledge of the occult arts, and his descriptions of this secretive society could place even a novice into the sense of a practitioner’s rites and rituals.  This awareness of course adds an extra layer of fear to an already emotionally charged tale, leaving the reader jumping at every little bump in the night and questioning reality.  So, grab a bag of chocolate, your favorite talisman (believe me, you’re going to need it), and allow Julian to introduce you to his creation.  She’s beautiful, she’s deadly, and her love for her maker knows no bounds.  Don’t speak her name, don’t even think it.  Forget you've ever heard of Beatrysel.