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This review was first posted at ABS on July 13, 2013.
If you're looking for a blended mix of Greek mythology, mythical creatures, sci-fi, and original lore for older readers, look no further than AGELESS SEA. Despite the cover, this isn't a straight-forward romance, but a fantasy adventure that spans worlds.
Karis isn't from our world. She lives in Shamike, where she is accused of treason and banished to Earth. She is sentenced to spend her immortal life alone on a deserted island, with only birds for company. No human can reach her. If boats near her island, they capsize. Planes crash. No one enters, no one leaves. Until the day a man named Brady somehow survives an impossible accident. There's more to him than meets the eye, and his presence will allow Karis to return home and fight to save her people. Betrayal lurks around every corner, however, and Karis is no longer sure whether or not she can even trust her loved ones anymore. Will Brady's presence at her side be enough to allow Karis to reclaim both her throne and her honor?
The way Karis is bound to an island strongly reminds me of the tales of Circe from Greek mythology, only without the cruel witchy streak. She's bound to her island, and the lore entailing Karis' escape is innovative. I love that when Karis finally leaves through a portal to return to her land, she winds up stopping first in Perditus, a realm full of Syrenae. I was excited to dive below the sea for such a long length of time. Perditus is full of new danger, and Karis and Brady are allowed to adapt to the ways of the Syrenae like no one else of their kind. In Perditus, they discover the truth about Brady's heritage and his mysterious tattoos.
Polish blends mythical lore and original ideas in new, creative ways that bring together a full story. AGELESS SEA becomes a little more sci-fi as readers go deeper due to the presence of portals and the ability to jump between realms and meet all different types of magical races. It pads the story and turns it into an adventure, not just a typical story about overthrowing a ruler and restoring one's honor. There's so much more to explore with this addition. It will be interesting to see the way Polish continues to explore new worlds and introduce readers to more races in future books.