Chloe Kowalski lives in Kansas, but she has an obsession with the ocean which she can’t explain. To complicate matters, her parents have an almost insane aversion to water, and won’t even let her learn to swim. One summer, she runs away—although, it’s not her intent to run away, she just wants to see the ocean, so she sneaks off with her best friend to her blended family’s home on the coast.
Once there, though, strange things begin to happen. Her attraction to the ocean grows stronger, and one day, while out for a boat ride, the ocean acts up and the vessel capsizes. Underwater, Chloe sees a strange boy, and finds that she can talk to him; underwater. Then, she’s attacked in a bookstore by a clerk acting mad, and soon she learns that a band of killers are after her. Her only way to survive is to come to grips with what she really is, a mixture of human and mermaid.
Awaken by Skye Malone is a riveting paranormal tale that explores the intersection of the human world and the world of the inhabitants under the sea, and the conflicts that plague both. The characters, human and nonhuman, are rich in detail and motivation, and the action is nonstop. I only had one gripe about the story, a point of logic; while Chloe’s parents have gone to great lengths to conceal her heritage by keeping her away from water, it’s not explained how they dealt with bathing, drinking, or mundane tasks like washing dishes. This small point notwithstanding, it was still an entertaining story.
I give it four stars.