Title: The Sea Calls my Name
Author Name: Hollis Shiloh
Publication Date & Length: April 29, 2015 – 70 pgs
He lost his magic. How?
Returning to the bookstore by the sea, Daniel worries about how to tell his father that the money he saved to send his gifted son to magic school was a waste.
Daniel buries his secret under the pretense of coming home for a vacation. Then he meets Leaf Springfield, a beautiful young man who’s been systematically beaten down by his uncle.
Irresistibly drawn to one another, they learn they share more than a love for raw fish and the ocean—both have lost a mother, and their ties to the ocean may be more fantastic than they can imagine.
Passion explodes between the two. It terrifies Daniel how quickly his feelings for Leaf grow. There may be more here than meets the eye—about both of them.
Daniel may have flunked out of his School of Magic, but he is inexplicably drawn to the sea and to Leaf, a new boy in his small seaside village. This isn’t quite Harry Potter by the sea, but I found myself imagining a similar world for the two teens.
I had to imagine a great deal, as very little about this magical world is thoroughly explained to readers in the short story. I’m still not sure where or when the story is set. I’m also still a little confused about the Selkies. While Selkies aren’t the most familiar of mythical creatures, the author spends very little time is spent explaining their nature for readers.
I found the oddly old-fashioned tone and dialogue unusual for a young adult m/m story. There were moments I really enjoyed, but this story needs development and a great deal of world-building before readers will be able to fully engage with the two boys. As it is, the romance feels rushed and the characters feel underdeveloped.