Title: Nearly Drowned
Author: TR Moore Ede
Genre: Christian Urban Fantasy
Rating: Two stars
“Malissa Crop always thought she would live a normal human life. She will soon discover she is wrong; in more ways than one.
Maybe normal was always a bit of a stretch, but what does it matter that although she doesn’t try, Malissa has more strength than perhaps she should. Or that two traumatic experiences with water leaves her with no fear of it.
Malissa always knew she was adopted, but it takes sixteen years before she discovers not only was she left on the Crop’s doorstop, but that she was left there for her safety.
After rescuing a man from a pool that was closed down, she finds herself a target of those who tried to drown him. Those now after her seem to know her from before the pool incident and are aware of something she has yet to discover about herself.”
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This is another one of those books that I really wanted to fall in love with. Great cover and a blurb that made me want to read the story. But I walked away from this book feeling a bit disappointed.
Malissa is a shy girl who has a lot of friends who go out of their way to include her. She has known for years that she was adopted and she loves her adoptive parents but they work a lot. Malissa often feels nervous about being home alone but enjoys going out with her friends. She lives a fairly ordinary life until she discovers the true nature of her adoption.
Almost Drowned begins with Malissa being bullied at school for being adopted. This leads to her looking through her father’s office for more information about her adoption. She finds a note asking her adoptive parents to keep her safe and the blanket she was wrapped in when she was left on their doorstep.
After Malissa watches an attempted assassination happen in an old swimming pool that closed down years before, she rescues the victim. This puts her in the crosshairs of an organisation which has apparently been searching for her for years, since she was born. This leads Malissa to discover that she is actually a mermaid and her mother was captured by this organisation long ago while her father has tried to keep her safe.
There wasn’t really a trigger that started this story along. The first chapter was mainly exposition relating to Malissa’s adoption, in the form of a discussion between her, the bully and her friends. All the information about Malissa’s adoption they already knew and were just discussing it for the sake of explaining things to the reader. It’s this discussion that prompts Malissa to investigate her adoption. There wasn’t any reason for her to investigate because everything she talked about with her friends was already common knowledge.
The key issues with Nearly Drowned boil down to a few things. Too many characters, many of whom become irrelevant later, too many spectacular coincidences driving the plot forwards and lots of tiny, two-sentence scenes that depict mundane action that doesn’t contribute to the story.
In addition, the story doesn’t align with the genre it has been given. While Christianity is mentioned, Malissa is agnostic for the duration of the book. At the end, after learning her biological parents (who are mermaids) are Christian, she miraculously turns to Christianity without any further questioning. Nobody turns away from their core beliefs without some serious character development and if it happened at all, Malissa’s was never shown.
Issues such as characters knowing things they shouldn’t and very little paragraphing didn’t help. It’s a shame because the story had real potential and with a serious re-write it could be good. I had really high hopes for this book and I still hold out hope that I might enjoy a second edition if it is ever re-written.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!