Tide – Daniella Sacerdoti

This second novel in the Sarah Midnight trilogy is, I feel, a noticeably more mature read than Dreams. It could be that the heroine, Sarah Midnight, is more comfortable with her job as a demon slayer and doesn’t anguish over things as much, or it could be that the author, Daniella Sacerdoti, is more comfortable with her job as a writer – she’s written 3 books between the first and second – and has worked her way round the tell don’t show parts of a novel that most writers can’t avoid first time round.

In Tide, Sarah and her allies find the anti stepped up and Sarah goes to Islay, where her grandmother lived, to try to trace more clues that will help her understand both her own family and the nature of the challenge she faces. But not everyone is as they seem. Having wrongly accused Sean of being an interloper then allowed him back into the fold, she also accepts Nicholas as a boyfriend. And we know that Nicholas has his demons too – in more ways than one. She finds herself torn between these two young men (where is everyone going to sleep?!) the kinds of issues that every teenager ties themselves in knots about, but the bottom line is that they have a job to do and every so often a new demon or two – or a hundred – pops up and has to be put down.

I felt that in this second book, the characters are more balanced, the goodies have flaws and the villains have their own torments. Sarah herself is growing into her role. The plot is rolling along nicely but there are casualties. It’s never going to be a perfect world. Teenagers can take that and they don’t need to be talked down to.

The fantasy/vampire/demon genre is certainly a good one to be involved in these days. Daniella is currently penning another book for adults but has already worked out the plot of Spirit, the third book, and expects to begin writing it in 6 months or so.

My only nitpick is that if a writer is going to use a real place, I do feel they ought to get the facts right. There’s no way you could leave Edinburgh after the first party, drive to Oban, persuade a German tourist to sail south (into the prevailing wind)  through the Corrievreckan and the Dorus Mor (you really need the tides to be right in both these areas – in winter allow 2 days) and arrive ahead of the first party who took the shorter route by the ferry (2 and a half hours). And then they want to come back on a trawler, presumably leaving their cars behind. I don’t get it! Take the ferry! The new one has very good stabilisers and the food’s not bad either.

Daniella concedes that she knew about this, but it didn’t fit with her plot so she discarded her research, exercised writer’s licence and chose to make it her own place, a dream place, where these things don’t matter. And since this is a fantasy novel, not a crime novel in which every detail has to work, it’s fine.

So, nitpicking aside, this is a really enjoyable teenage read and I am truly looking forward to seeing how this all works out in the third book. Meanwhile Tide is available and you can buy it now from Amazon

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Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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