Estara's Reviews > Carousel Tides

Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee
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Sep 07, 12

bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2010, favorites, read-in-2011, re-read
Recommended to Estara by: It's Sharon Lee!
Recommended for: fans of Charles de Lint and War for the Oaks
Read from October 29 to 30, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 2

This is Sharon Lee doing urban fantasy in the style of Charles de Lint or early Emma Bull. I loved the seamless integration of the concept of Faerie (and the explanation for their existence), the magic system and the connection to the magic of this world, personified in nature spirits at this Maine coast amusement park town.

But as always with Lee, the characters shine the most, from the human people who welcome the powerful, honourable but a bit too earnest heroine back after ten years. To the various nature spirits who help or hinder her work, to the family ties of known grandmother and lost mother and surprisingly unknown grandfather - up to a very believable understated love interest who is as dedicated to his guardianship as she is.

And then the amusement park setting and the carousel, especially the batwing horse ^^. I would LOVE to read more with the same characters, really, although the end is totally satisfying in and of itself.

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On re-reading I thought that the time from when the big baddie shows up to the resolution of the story was rather hurried, although full of lovely big jikinap usage ^^ - and I would have liked to have more of an epilogue (with fellow guardian) than we got - especially since Sharon Lee hasn't announced anything with regards to possibly writing more.

The side characters and the fun park itself came out more clearly in this reread and how initially stubborn Kate is, too. It was just right for a comfort re-read as I had expected ^^ - but then the Liaden books usually are, as well.

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ETA: As of September 2012 one part of this review is luckily no longer true - Sharon Lee has sold two further novels in this universe and is at the moment on writing retreat at the real life inspiration of Archer's Beach - Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Yay!
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Reading Progress

10/29/2011 "My monthlies are acting up somewhat, so I've fallen back on a comfort read which I adored the first time I read it last year."
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Katie I so glad someone else read this one! I liked it so much!


Estara Yes!! I'm so happy BAEN agreed to two sequels. We'll probably get the next one late next year.


Katharine Kimbriel I was about to rush over and tell you about the sequels, but you've already discovered their future existence! Cheers!


Estara Yes, she's on my reading list in LJ and she regularly posts there (I've even been able to help her with some books ^^) - as well as mirror her posts from her own website.


message 5: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen Oh, this sounds very good! Going on my list, for when I want urban fantasy.


Estara Yes, it's rural urban fantasy ^^. The amusement park and the tourist nature of the small town and its year-round inhabitants and the sea really play a major part.


message 7: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen Rural urban fantasy. ( J ) I know, huh? Like Cry Wolf.
Looking forward to this one. It's the community that draws me. I thought the small community was key to why I enjoyed How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf.


Estara Good point! Although from what I gather How to Flirt is more of a paranormal romance - and in Carousel Tides the romance is very subsumed under the plot... and the fact that Kate is ornery, heh. And the guy has other things to do than hanging around her, as his real "job" is as important as her role is. No sexy times, either here or in the Jennifer Pierce books, just FYI.


message 9: by Kathleen (last edited Feb 13, 2013 06:13AM) (new) - added it

Kathleen Yes, I kinda thought CT was UF without overt romance, much less sex. But that's fine. Sometimes it's best!
Yes, How to Flirt is PNR, not UF, but it has a great cast of secondary characters at the diner in the small Alaskan town


message 10: by Estara (last edited Feb 13, 2013 07:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Estara I saw a few other good reviews of it, but one comparison with Shelly Laurenston (sp?) and I bounced off her humour hard with the one book I tried. So I'm not sure if I want to try, although I quite like paranormal romance when it's done right.


message 11: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen I don't much like Laurenston either, nor can I help with spelling, because I've only read two books by her. One was dnf. The other was ok, but not awesome.


Estara *nod*


message 13: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen Just to give you a sense of the secondary characters and the humor, here's my review of How to Flirt. It definitely is a sexy read, but it almost felt tongue in cheek. Hard to classify.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 14: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen Oops. That was a different review, for Seeking Persephone. An excellent "clean" Regency.

Here is How to Flirt with... (fingers crossed)
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Katharine Kimbriel Thanks, Kathleen. I might try that when I'm in the mood for UF with a little more romance.


message 16: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen Katharine wrote: "Thanks, Kathleen. I might try that when I'm in the mood for UF with a little more romance."

Or...a lot more romance. J. But yes, you might like it, Katharine. There's a few nicely developed secondary characters, the Alaskan setting is unique, and the suspense is actually fairly decent.


Laura (Kyahgirl) I just finished this. I think you nailed it comparing the style to Emma Bull or Charles de Lint.


Estara Aww, great to hear that comparison worked for you, too. The second book in the series is already available at BAEN's site in eARC form (should come out for real in February or so) and it's more of a slice-of-life bit and very satisfying romance development with some new interesting side characters (and lots of background on the usual life at Archer's Beach - nature spirits and all). There *IS* some suspense, but it's overall more leisurely. I really enjoyed my first readthrough.


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