Sunday, April 21, 2013

Makai Queen by Tara Fairfield

Title: Makai Queen
Author: Tara Fairfield
Format: Paperback, 207 pages
Pub. Date: February 7th 2013
Source: Diane Estrella's blog


Three indifferent stars.

Tessa is a girl who doesn't really have a proper place on Earth anymore, in a life changed after her parents' death. Contemplating her life and what's happened in it while walking along the beaches of Lanai, she is kidnapped by a man she had intended to save from drowning. He drags her into a new world, Moku-ola, a place beneath the sea that serves to protect all of the ocean's creatures. But life under the sea is torn as brothers feud, and when Tessa is called upon to be the new queen, she must decide if she wants the life the Creator has chosen for her, and who she wants to be.


First, and I cannot stress this enough: I am not the intended demographic for this book. I did not realize that this book was Christian fiction when I picked it up. That is my fault, and I'm not going to rip this book to pieces because I don't follow the same spiritual path. That being said, this review is going to be very short and to the point.

+The scenery/setting of this book is beautiful. I want to be on these beaches or under the waves, looking at all of the sea creatures and eating all of the ripe fruits that Hawaii has to offer. Tara Fairfield successfully created a world that I wouldn't mind seeing, and has made me decide that I definitely need to visit Hawaii before I die.

+The cover reflects this landscape. It's bright, aquatic, and the bright flower above the title is rather striking.

+I really like the idea of an oceanic shifter. The fact that Kupua can change forms into a seahorse, an octopus, or even a whale is a really refreshing change from bats, werewolves and cats that have been trending lately, especially in young adult literature.

+- I really liked the integration of Hawaiian language in this book. There's even a Pidgen glossary in the back. However, I would have liked a glossary for the italicized words too. If you're going to stress that they're non-English, than they should be elaborated by more than context clues.

-Instant connection/love. It doesn't matter what genre or age bracket, nine times out of ten it will make me have a disconnect from the story line. This novel is one of those nine.

-I found the sentences to be a bit short and choppy, making the narrative hard to get into. Similarly, I had issues with the pacing. I don't know if it's supposed to be the draw of the Creator/God figure that inspires this, but Tessa comes to terms with this new world awful quickly. She doesn't put up much of a fight, and she admits to being weak and unworthy. Now I know that this humility is good and such, but I just found her kind of whiny, and I didn't really care if she found her place.

At the end of the day, it's simple: Other people will enjoy this more than I did. This book is an adequately written piece of fantasy with strong Christian themes. It's clean with romance, adventure, and really cool "gifts" from the Creator like shifting or communicating with animals. It also includes a few discussion/book club questions at the end. I strongly recommend this to Christian young adults. If you, like me, roll your eyes at Christian fiction, pass it up.

Thank you to both Tara Fairfield and Diane Estrella for my autographed copy.


  1. Great review, Pigeon! I'll take a pass on this book if I come across it, but it sounds like a good gift idea :)

  2. It'd be a good "by the pool" read too, I think.

  3. That was probably one of the most honest, thoughtful, and well thought out book review I have read in a long time. Excellent!