Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publishing Date: February 2013
Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal romance
There’s an island off the coast of Maine that’s not on any modern map.
Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn’t her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia’s not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night.
Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it’s Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water’s edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.
Delia McGovern is determined to find out why and how her mother escaped the unmapped Trespass Island. When she arrives, the people find her dangerous and odd, an outsider bringing death and fear into their peaceful haven. As the Revel celebration approaches, Delia discovers a frightening secret lurking in the waters — imprisoning the inhabitants as well as keeping trespassers out.
I wanted to enjoy this. I loved the idea of some otherworldly sea creature preventing inhabitants from leaving and newcomers from entering. The ocean is a vast and alien world, a frontier not yet fully explored, so having some sort of monster there is alluring. Sure, throw in some Greek demigods as well for fun, but the mysterious, frightening aspects was what I was looking for.
Guibord failed me. First, Delia was just plain odd for a character. Her internal thoughts were intelligent and somewhat snarky, but everything that came out of her mouth was stilted. The dialogue was off — from everyone, not just Delia — and the actions were unjustified.
Second, this book could have been written in so many different (and better) ways. Toss out the love triangle, first of all. The horror and tension would have been much better if Jax was seen as a monster throughout. The pull to the water Delia experiences would have been more terrifying, it would make her have difficulty coming to terms with her identity. That would have been interesting. Another aspect would have been introducing the monsters later in the novel, rather than right at the beginning. Telling us immediately what makes this island odd doesn’t add suspense, it kills it. The mystery of the caves no longer seems dire. If Delia were to slowly discover the caves, slowly experience how she feels in the water, slowly piece things together about the island, Trespass would become a terrifying place, and the monsters even more frightening!
Finally, the excuse of a celebration — Revel — could have been the conclusion. Delia’s identity surrounds Revel. The book is called Revel. The plot Guibord writes, however, does not. And that’s such a disappointment.
Open with weird events and history of the island, progress to enjoying the water and discovering the caves, continue into the eerie aspect of Jax and the fierce protectiveness of the caves, climax at the discovery of the monsters, and a huge action/ending with Revel and self-discovery (all the while with little doses of Sean-love). That’s the book I thought I was going to read.
2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Revel” by Maurissa Guibord”
Don’t you hate it when a book disappoints like that? I especially hate it when you can imagine how the book should have been written. Don’t think I’ll be reading this one. (Thanks for saving me the time and trouble.)
You’re welcome! Guibord had a fantastic idea, but it wasn’t well executed. Ah well. On to another book!