Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Revel

Published By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Page Count: 352
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal, Greek Mythology

I picked up this book for a variety of reasons. One, I was intrigued by the setting. I have never traveled to Maine, but it is on my wish list. There is just something magical about that state that conjures up amazing scenery and opens my mind to the possibility of the impossible. Second, the summary on Goodreads mentioned Greek mythology. I love seeing how authors can reinvent stories from this mythology. When done well, these are some of my favorite novels. Third, sea monsters - need I say more?

I had high hopes for this book and kept reading frantically in order to get to this one. I was so excited when I was finally able to read the first sentence. From moment one, I was transported into a highly visual and creative world. Maurissa Guibord has not merely recycled the same old tired stories, but invented something fresh and unique. It reads very differently than the other Greek mythology novels I have read lately. This novel is truly something special and darkly addicting. I loved the lore surrounding Trespass Island and its inhabitants - both of the land and sea variety.

I also enjoyed watching the main character, Delia, discover the secrets of the island and the people (and beasts) that live out their lives along its rocky shores. I knew virtually nothing about this book other than what I have mentioned in the opening paragraph. It was fun for me to learn things along with Delia and begin to form my own ideas about what was really happening. I found that most of the time my inferences were completely off base. Guibord keeps throwing new twists and turns up with every chapter. I found it to be immensely entertaining.

Furthermore, I really appreciated that the romance in this book took a backseat. It's important, but it is not the driving force of the narrative. It's also an interesting pairing that I think many readers will enjoy.

My biggest complaint with the novel is the main character, Delia. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't adore her either. She was the one telling me the story and that was the only reason I continued to listen to her. Her rash decisions often left me feeling frustrated. I found the plot and the other characters to be far more interesting than her. It didn't keep me from loving the book; there were far too many fascinating elements for this one little complaint to overshadow everything else.

Many reviews I have seen for this novel aren't complementary. Is this novel without flaws? No. Is it the perfect specimen of YA writing? Probably not. Did I enjoy it enough to stay up into the late hours reading? Absolutely. In the end, isn't that what is most important to how we rate books? That isn't to say that this isn't well written - it is - but my enjoyment is far more important to me than any other detail. Based on that criteria, I have to say that this book is certainly a 2013 favorite for me. Revel is a dark, twisted, creepy paranormal fantasy that has some healthy Greek mythology thrown in with a little sea lore on the side.

One Last Gripe: There was a lot of tension building in the beginning. I could have done with a little less of that and more of the ending.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The lore - I might never swim in the ocean without thinking about this story again....

First Sentence: Maybe I should have known from the beginning to stay away from Trespass Island.

Favorite Character: Sean

Least Favorite Character: The Mayor

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.


  1. I've been to Maine a few times but have yet to come across this mysterious island. I'd have been looking for it if I'd only known that sea creatures were involved! ; )
    Thanks for a cool review. I'm thinking about this one for my niece!

    1. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

  2. I haven't read many reviews on this book yet so I'm glad to see you liked it. I do like when authors can add something new to an old myth or tale.

    THanks for the great review! :)

    1. It's always intriguing for me to see authors take mythology and make it their own. Maurissa certainly accomplishes that.

  3. This is actually the first time I've seen this book and I'm definitely adding this to my TBR. Sounds awesome!

    1. I am not sure how this one slipped under the radar for a lot of readers, but it's certainly worth the time. I love the lore surrounding the island.

  4. I actually haven't read this book yet! I know I know! I've read one other book by this author and enjoyed so I must get my hands on this one.

    1. I have been wanting to read more by this author. I'll put it on my wishlist now that I've heard you've enjoyed it. Based on your comments, we largely have very similar opinions on novels.

  5. Oh la la! Definitely on board with this one! :-)

  6. I don't really like books based on mythology, but if it's so unique like you say it must be in a class of its own:)

  7. Very different premise, i gotta say it's very intesting :D

  8. I like Greek mythology and the summary of this book sounds good too but your review has put me on the edge. I'm not sure if I will be picking up this book or not. I guess I'll need more input from other readers.

  9. Another book about Greek Mythology eh? I love that authors can find new ways to write about Greek Mythology. This definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy. Great review! :)


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