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A Backwards Story, and Mermaid Vision Books 
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Last year, Liz Kessler stopped by for a swishy author interview!

If you like the Emily Windsnap series, you might also like Hélène Boudreau's Real Mermaids series, which is set to conclude this fall!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:
"WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM TO BRING YOU A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING. Flash storms are affecting many coastal regions again this morning. The authorities are advising people living in these areas to avoid going out unless they have to. Coastal roads still flooded from yesterday's downpour will remain closed until further notice." 

Mom switched the TV off and got up to put the kettle on. "These storms are getting ridiculous," she said. "It's the middle of summer! We should be outside sunbathing, not huddled inside or dashing around under raincoats and umbrellas."
(pgs. 1~2, US hardcover first edition)

It's rare to find a series that gets better and better with each new book. A lot of children's series, to me, get old after a while. They begin to feel cliché, featuring the same old topics in a shiny new package. Liz Kessler's fantastic Emily Windsnap series, however, does just the opposite. I wasn't completely convinced that I loved Emily in the first book or two. Her story was very traditional. But the third, fourth, and fifth books in the series have blown me away. There's a ton of unique mer-lore never seen before, and it's all done in such a fun way. I always have so much fun re-connecting with Emily and her world. I truly hope Kessler has more Emily books in the pipeline for us that remain this fresh and fun, though it will be hard to top the adventure of THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN!

For one thing, the title. The title! What is The Land of the Midnight Sun? Have you ever heard of anything like it? It's so mysterious and feels utterly magical, doesn't it? Emily is about to learn the truth behind this cold, forgotten land, and the hidden answers exceed her wildest dreams. After Emily connected with Aaron using Neptune's powers during CASTLE IN THE MIST, things have been different. Emily and Aaron have gone from friends to something more, and Neptune's power still lurks in their veins. When it's reawakened and Neptune starts remembering repressed memories, it's up to Emily and Aaron to go on a secret undercover mission in order to save the ocean--and the world--before it's too late.

I loved the world of The Land of the Midnight Sun. It was so creative, and also visually stunning. I could close my eyes and picture this frozen realm in detail. Kessler continues to introduce readers to forgotten lore as well. For example, there is a narwhal in the novel. A narwhal! You get an extra seaweed cookie if you know what a narwhal is. His presence just made me happy. Neptune's storyline is also creative in a way I haven't seen done before. Kessler also excels at bringing readers up to speed if they don't remember Emily's former adventures too well without feeling redundant or boring. I was able to jump right in and pick up where we left off, which is always a bonus. I truly love growing up alongside Emily as she discovers her path in life while still managing to have fun. Overall, this book kept me completely captivated. It was the perfect blend of light fun, thrilling adventure, and astounding discoveries.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the cover design for this series. The illustrations are lovely, while still leaving actual images to one’s imagination due to the silhouettes. At the same time, it’s very clear that the series is about mermaids. 

When I went to Liz Kessler’s signing, I remember her stating that hopefully her next series won’t be so pink and purple in order to bring in more male readers, but I think the colors work well with this series. 

THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN is the least pink of them all! There's orange and red mixed in with the pink and purple. There's also some glitzy glitter!

I'm also a big fan of the hand-illustrations that start off each new chapter. It really takes me back to when I read such series growing up:

I thought I had favorite covers in this series, but I think this one beats them all!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Liz Kessler
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Received: Borrowed

The New York Times best-selling series continues with the half-mermaid embarking on an icy and perilous journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Strange storms are blowing up from the ocean, caused by the nightmares of Neptune, King of the Sea. Convinced that his dreams herald an approaching threat, Neptune enlists half-mermaids Emily Windsnap and Aaron for a top-secret mission to find and eliminate the source of the trouble. But Emily and Aaron quickly get in over their heads in the frigid waters of the frozen north. Deep within an alpine lake where magical reflections show what could be rather than what is, the two discover a trove of stolen memories and Neptune’s darkest secret. Double-crosses and double-takes abound in Liz Kessler’s fifth magical mermaid adventure.