Whirl (Ondine Quartet #1) by Emma Raveling

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Title: Whirl
Author: Emma Raveling
Publish Date: September 16, 2011
Publisher: Mandorla Publishing
Pages: 258
Other Books in the Series: Billow
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble 

Seventeen-year-old Kendra Irisavie is an ondine, a water elemental caught in the middle of an ancient war with the Aquidae, immortal dark demons who will stop at nothing to destroy the fragile balance of the Elemental world.

Fierce and independent, Kendra has always played by her own rules. Gifted with the powerful magic of Virtue and trained to be a deadly fighter, she has spent her life breaking hearts and getting into trouble.

When her life explodes one violent night in a northern California city, a dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past. Alone and with no one to trust, she must now navigate through a dangerous new world, face the temptations of a forbidden romance, and remain true to her duty and destiny.

All while the Aquidae continue to hunt her down, in the hopes of eliminating her forever…

I actually went into this without any idea of what this story was about other than it was about the Ondine, a creature that in my mind seemed to be connected to mermaids. Which to be honest, I was pretty pleased about because mermaids (or Ondine in this case) are not as overused as some mythical creatures such as vampires, werewolves, and witches. Not to say that each of those do not have a certain appeal to them as well. It was after reading this book that I realized that the Ondine and their world was so much more than just another tale about a mermaid. Let's be honest here, they are pretty awesome.

This debut novel by Emma Raveling is an addicting read once you get into it and comes with an intriguing plot to match. The writing is  reminiscent of Richelle Mead's in the Vampire Academy.

Whirl got off to a slow start in the prologue, filling me in on terms/creatures that I was not previously familiar with and the main character along with her mother  was hard to connect with right away. Unlike some books that start with action, this one slowly builds and creates a greater connect between you and the world you are being drawn into. It is after the prologue that this story and it's intriguing plot swept me into a place I never knew could exist.

Kendra, the main character, is an ondine and a chosen one for her people with a destiny to free her people from their only enemy. Her sarcasm, her dialog, and her actions matched what I can see myself doing in her situation. In fact, I can see a lot of myself and my friends in the things she says and does. She is one of my favorite lead female characters of all time. But Kendra alone wouldn't be as great as Kendra with all of her handy dandy sidekicks and love interests. Needless to say, I love the characters both big and small.

The forbidden romance between Tristan, a selkie, and Kendra is very intoxicating. There are other love interests that pop up throughout the novel but the one mentioned is the one that lingers in the back of your mind longer after you finish it.

The storyline, although it is overused in YA fiction, Emma Raveling's take on it was refreshing and I believe you'll enjoy it just as much as I did. A definite re-read on my list and I am pleased that it is now a part of my personal collection. I have no doubts that you will be pleased too!

About the author

Bailee is the type of person you would expect to find with her nose buried in a book or a notebook and a pencil in hand. She loves reading and she loves reviewing the books she reads. This is certainly becoming a passion of hers.