Between the Sea and Stars

The Lena Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Dollcie Webb
Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A legend

A magical shell

A girl who dreamed of something more... 

Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin, who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea. 

When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land. 

With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner. 

Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?

©2018 Shayne Leighton (P)2018 The Parliament House

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Start of an Exciting Adventure!

I was excited to read this, as many of you might know I love the classic fairy-tale type stories, and am also up for an adaption/retelling! I've also read some of this authors work in the past, though I admit it's been a while. Chantal Gadoury has quite a few books on my TBR though, and I had hoped that listening to this would encourage me to get to the others soon, and it just might have worked!

I loved listening to this, and am excited that it's a series. I really enjoyed the world Chantal Gadoury created, and Dollcie Webb was the perfect pick to cast for the audiobook. As mentioned in my review/post for The Gateway Chronicles series, I loved her voice, and was excited to find she also narrated this book!

Lena and her home in the Skagerrak sea caught my attention, but I soon realized that this book was more complex and holds surprising twists at every turn! I loved the depth of the story and how its common origins didn't prevent Gadoury from making it her own and really building and branching out into something new.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Chantal Gadoury. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not quite for 11 year olds - teens, yes.

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would like to listen to the next book in this series.
I enjoyed the storyline and found I was drawn to the characters. I was surprised to see the book as listed for 11 to 13-year-olds. There are two love interests and a third whose advances are unrequited, yet this is mostly innocent. There is a degree of evil in this book I’m not sure would be for 11 year olds- teens, yes.
The book ends with a cliffhanger.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Dollcie Webb ) and I would gladly listen to another. She portrays each character well and brings out the emotions in the story. An excellent performance that drew me in.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Your Mom's Little Mermaid


Shoutout to narrator Dollcie Webb for providing me with a promo code for the audiobook!

Lena, a Merrow girl, has been raised on tales of a queen who longed to live among the humans but was betrayed by her lover who killed her. Lena and her folk should stay away from the human world, and except for the soldiers who “protect” their clan by luring sailors to their deaths and plundering their belongings. When her brother dies, Lena knows she can never go home, so she takes the shell that will give her legs and tries to make her way in the human world. Not only does she have to learn to make it in this strange world, but there may be people after her secret. Those who would use her only to feed their greed.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this one on audio, because if I waited until I had time to read the print version, it’d take a very long time. Though, this is only book one, and if I’d waited longer to read, I wouldn’t have to wait for the rest of the story.

I am not one for love triangles, so the romance-ish elements didn’t appeal to me. Luckily, the story is more about Lena being stuck between two worlds and trying to learn the truth and the sappy parts aren’t the main focus, and the triangle part isn’t so much of the cliched “girl must choose between two dreamy, amazing boys. Each character contributes to Lena’s character building and the plot of the story, so I’m not complaining. As far as those things go, I think Gadoury handled it well.

The first books in a series can often get bogged down with details, background information, and world building. Though I didn’t get bored, it did take me a bit to get into the story. I am a sucker for retellings, though, and Webb’s narration built a rich world in my imagination, so once I got past the initial introduction and Lena made it to land, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Webb’s voice and intonation really brought Lena’s character alive for me, and I think she did a good job with the other characters, too. I never got confused with the plot or had any doubts about which character was speaking or acting. That can sometimes be tricky with a multi-character story, but Webb did a good job. Her narration of the climax had my heart racing, and I was INTO it 100%.

No clue how long we’ll have to wait for another installment, but I’m ready. For now, you can check out the audiobook on Audible, or the print book from your local library and or fav. local bookstore, and if you’re not as far behind on your TBR as me, perhaps you’ve already read it. If so, let me know what you thought in the comments.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Coming of Age Story With a Mermaid Twist

This is reminds me of a coming of age story except our lead is a mermaid now on the shore. I found there wasn't much to the plot (we go through the everyday motions of her new life) but I still enjoyed reading and following along. There were always little inklings along the way (so I was never bored) and I'm excited to see where the plot will go next as a result.

The romance surprised me in a lot of ways; it isn't a huge focus but it's there and it wasn't overly predictable.

This was such a fabulous audio listen! Right when it started to play I was fully immersed into the story and the characters. The narrator here is Dollcie Webb and she does a great job of giving all the characters their own voices so it is super easy to follow along. She has the perfect cadence for an audiobook narrator--seriously, it was such a nice read to listen to that I was finished the novel before I knew it!

**I received an ARC/review copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.**

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A magical & excllent read... excited for the next!

Loved the story, the narrator & I can't wait for more! a must read book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dark Little Mermaid Retelling

**3.5 Stars**
I had previously read a Nutcracker retelling by Chantal a few months ago and really loved her lyrical writing style and her new take on a classic story so I was very interested to see what else she wanted to bring to life. I thought this was like a dark version of the Little Mermaid- and when I say dark, I mean Grimm dark where the mermaid’s bodies dissolve into sea foam and eating their disintegrating pieces can give power. See? Dark. It was an interesting world that Chantal created, where the sea people are battling with warriors and destroying anything human but most humans do not even believe that the sea people are real, more a crazy myth.

I found it interesting that under the water, Lena was such a headstrong, independent person who listened to no one, but on land she was quiet and almost meek. I am not sure if it was the events that led to her being on land that caused the change in her personality, but I kinda wanted the independent Lena back when it came to some of the interpersonal relationship dynamics.

The narrator did a great job of emoting Lena's character, her emotions came through perfectly in her tone. You could almost feel the sorrow and curiosity in the character from the picture that the narration and words created. The pacing was a little slow for my taste, but once I upped my speed to 1.75x it was just right (for me at least).

Beneath the Sea and Stars is the first in a series and has a pretty big cliff hanger ending. It felt like the book just stopped right in the middle of a huge conflict where basically nothing is resolved. I personally am not a fan of cliff hangers but it is a sure fire way to hook a reader and make them come back for more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

wonderful start to a mermaid series

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Chantal Gadoury. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.



I love a mermaid story, so this series intrigued me right away. Between the Sea and Stars starts off the trilogy with tragedy and exile and magic. Lena leaves her Merrow world behind and is learning to be a human on land. She has many secrets and is terrified of getting found out because of the dangerous consequences. She fears for good reason, there are those out to get her, those who want the magic she possesses that gave her the legs she is wearing. The shell that holds tremendous powers. But I'm also happy she finds allies and friends who somehow already know the truth and want to help her.

The audio narration is wonderful. I enjoyed the voices, the tone, and speed of delivery. The pronunciation was great and the intensity of emotions was believable and kept me engaged with the story.

This first book starts and ends with a bang, and while it isn't exactly a cliffhanger, you know the big bad is coming for her any minute. I'm definitely curious to see how the story continues.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Between the Sea and Stars

If you had a choice to live in the water or on land, how would you choose? Obviously, your curiosity would probably get the better of you. Humans are often addled by ideas and misconceptions of the desires that they have. We always want the things that we don’t have and some don’t stop until they get them. Gadoury has a riveting story about the lengths that someone will go to obtain the unobtainable. For readers, this is an enticing first installment that will leave you hanging by the edge of your seat—waiting for the second installment.

Lena is trapped in her underwater prison, longing to see what the humans are like on land. She has a brother, a father and someone who loves her dearly, but that isn’t good enough. That doesn’t wash the desire to be free from the life that she has always lived. Something wiggles its way into her brain, allowing her to obsess over this new complex job offer that has been provided to her brother, Javelin. Merrows are forbidden to go to the surface by the Skagerrak king; however, the Merrow soldiers are able to swim in the sea and walk on land in order to protect their waters from human invasion. Much like the Merrow Queen, Lena’s desire to see the surface winds up being the ultimate price—a life. Once she is given a magical shell that gives her legs, will she still feel the same way about the sea? Leaving the only home that she has ever known to travel in an unforgiving world seems like a punishment, until she meets Soren—the man who believes in Merrows. Along with Serran comes others who hide in the shadows, waiting for their time to strike her down for who she is.

Gadoury has a superb first installment, filled with adventure, romance, longing, deceit, and secrets. The characters have been well thought out and the scenes flow effortlessly. Since this is complimenting the audiobook, Webb makes this story really shine. Her voice relay with this installment is stunning. Readers may find themselves impressed with how attentive Webb is to the characters personalities and emotions. If you are a reader of young adult fantasy and fairy tales, this may be perfect for you. Fair warning, if you begin this tale—there may be no putting it down until the end.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to Between the Sea and Stars by Chantal Gadoury.