Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler

Jackson doesn't who what he is exactly, but he knows he isn't like the other children in the orphanage that is all he remembers.  They don't really like him and he can take or leave them.  No one really bothers Jackson as the word is out of bad things that happen to those who cross him.  Jackson is content as he can be.  He has Sister Jerome Grace as a friend and that was enough for him.  Most days passed by without incident although sometimes others would see a momentary flash of scales or a hand that seemed to not quite be formed correctly.  Jackson doesn't know what these momentary flashes are but he knows he needs to hide them from everyone else.

Than things change at the orphanage.  A group of children are chosen to be adopted by families out West and Jackson's name is on the list.  He can't imagine who would want him as no one else has or why.  The woman in San Francisco who has chosen him goes by the The Widow and she is respected and feared by everyone around her.  There are others in her mansion and again, not everyone is fully human.  Jackson knows he has been chosen to live with The Widow for some purpose although he doesn't know why.   He finally feels accepted and that is a revelation to him.  Jackson meets Mae, who is a lion tamer at a circus/show a few blocks away who is mysterious and powerful and drawn to him.  At the same time, he meets a girl at a bakery who seems the epitome of normality.  Which girl is he meant to love and why?

This novella is menacing and murky while still being fascinating.  There are glimpses of myriad things going on in the dark and behind the scenes but much is left to the reader's imagination and interpretation.  The reader is left with the feeling that there is more to Jackson's story that hasn't been told yet and that further adventures await him.  This book is recommended to fantasy readers.

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