SERIES INFO: This is Book #1 of 2 in “The River Immortals” duology. Both books are available on audio.
Kasia - 18 year old aspiring biologist whose mother taught her to avoid 2 things - men & the water. Unfortunately, her summer internship is about to pitch her into close contact with both.
QUOTE: Mom’s the one who taught me to rank every man and boy on the Scum Scale. He gains one point for each scummy characteristic, and Zero is the only passing score. No grading on the curve. No consolation prizes. No exceptions. We judge on the following criteria:
1. Lewd grin
2. Over-friendly eyes
3. Fake deep voice or pickup lines
5. Being male
My new boss is infected with a Y chromosome, which makes him an automatic loser on the Scum Scale. I try to feel sorry for him . . . but somehow I can’t.” UNQUOTE (Note: This is not a man bashing book)
Blayne - moody 19 year old whose heart belongs to the river. Despite his antagonist behavior, his underlying caring nature can’t help peeking through.
Jen - candidate for "best friend of the year" / not one to sit around worrying, she’d rather take action
Scott (the “new boss” mentioned above): scored a measly 1 on the scale / protective & chivalrous (willing to work with the 5* scum so she doesn’t have to)
Kasia & Blayne: This is a relationship between two people who actually have a lot in common. Although they are both attracted from the beginning, their relationship develops over time. No love triangle!
QUOTE Jen and I walk to her car as the guys drive away. “Intriguing,” she says.
“Yeah, I think Scott worships the ground you puncture with those high heels. And I have the perfect nickname you can use for him: Scottie the Hottie!”
“I was referring to you and Blayne.” She’s not in the least embarrassed by my teasing.
“What about us? How we’re both going to Western? Or how he tries to glare radiation into my head?”
She starts the engine and backs out of the parking space. “Everything about you two. There’s so much tension, so much potential. You have a lot in common with him - not just the biology degree at Western, but also your personalities. You’re both moody and distrusting.”
“Thanks a lot.”
“You know what I mean. You’re perfect for each other.”
“Except for the small problem of hating each other’s guts.”
Jen shrugs. “Hate, love . . . they’re related.”
“Will that be your defense in court? 'Members of the jury, despite the evidence supporting this hate crime, it was simply done out of love.’” UNQUOTE
I’ve never been to the Midwest, but while reading this book I felt like I could almost taste that Mississippi mud. And it was nice to read about something other than vampires and werewolves for once.
Sometimes I get tired of the “keep them in the dark” element of some of these stories. Maybe instead of teaching Kasia that all men are scum and to be avoided (difficult to do outside a monastery, since they are half the population), her mother (Katia) should have taught her that men are people too and she should avoid them for their own protection. But that would have required honesty and openness. After all, being kept in the dark worked so well for Katia…
NARRATION: At the beginning, I thought the audio was going to be a no go for me. There is quite a bit of lip smacking during the first 20-30 minutes. Thankfully it settled down and was better after that. / I appreciated that the singing (which I often don’t like) had a pleasant tune. / Listened on 1.5 speed (up from my usual 1.25)
FAVORITE PART(S): her afternoon with Blayne’s family, and especially her interactions with his 3 year old nephew Joey / Blayne introduces the (doomed) Safe Plan
QUOTE He sighs, looking almost nervous as he runs a hand through his black mop of hair. “Listen, I’ve been thinking about Saturday night and how you said we both have our reasons for acting like we do. I don’t trust women, and apparently you don’t trust men.”
"Yep." I hope he gets to the point soon. I'm too tired to keep my guard up for long.
"Then I realized - I don't have to worry about you, because you don't even like me. You chose to ignore me rather than explain why you upchucked that granola bar. And you don’t have to worry about me either. All I want is to do my job and let you do yours. If you shun men as much as I shun women, then we’re safe together.”
I stare at him for a long moment. “That actually makes sense . . . in a very twisted way.”
He smiles, and his dimples pop into view. “That’s logic for ya.” UNQUOTE
OTHER WARNINGS: This book includes some Christian elements (the use of crosses & prayers to fight creatures, a visit to church etc.) / There is a short scene of attempted rape.
--Narrator Impact: AVERAGE
I purchased this book myself.
River’s Edge by Erin Keyser Horn; read by Carin Gilfry; produced independently in 2013 / Length: 9 hrs 16 min (Unabr) / Available through Audible & Amazon plus iTunes.