Title: Beneath the Waves
Author Name & Publisher: Ali Vali (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 264 pgs
No one has her life more mapped out than Kai Merlin. She’ll succeed her mother Galen and carry out every duty expected of her—the most important of which is to keep hidden the secrets her people have kept for eons.
Vivien Palmer’s life has been just as planned out by her parents, and their dream is for her and her brother Franklin to eventually run the family business. But Vivien’s dreams lie in the depths of the oceans searching for clues to the shells she and Franklin wear around their necks.
A chance encounter as children forever linked Kai and Vivien for life, but can they find a way to be together despite what’s expected of them?
The answers lie Beneath the Waves.
I really enjoyed the storyline in this book. Farfetched? Sure. Entertaining? Definitely. A new and interesting take on the legend of Atlantis, it was fun to read. Kai definitely has that otherworldly Alpha thing going on, and Vivien is no nonsense but troubled due to a childhood encounter. Vivien battles against her parents, who feel they know what’s best for her and are pressuring her to fall in line. Her only bastion against this pressure is her brother, Frankie. The two support each other completely. When Kai appears on the scene, she becomes another lodestone for Vivien, even though Vivien isn’t sure why she’s attracted to Kai. Things seem hopeless as far as their future goes, but Kai is unable to stop herself from getting involved with Vivien. The underlying cause for the events in this book was rather surprising, and the resolution was intriguing. The resolution of Vivien and Kai’s future is a good ride as well. Two things that kept this from getting a higher rating from me: First, Vivien seems asexual before meeting Kai. I believe this is explained by the unnatural link between Frankie and Vivien (Kai’s mistake so many years ago) being so intense that there wasn’t room for anybody else. But she doesn’t seem too weirded out by waking up one day intensely attracted to a woman. Second, it seemed overly easy for Kai’s people to find out what was going on. Perhaps the only reason they didn’t catch what was happening earlier is because nobody ever thought it could happen, so nobody expected it. But I would have thought people bent on world domination would hide their plans better.
Anyway, I recommend the book to anyone who wants a little paranormal fantasy with their romance – especially a little fantasy that is different from the usual paranormal fare. It definitely kept me turning pages.
Originally from Cuba, Ali Vali has retained much of her family’s traditions and language and uses them frequently in her stories. Having her father read her stories and poetry before bed every night as a child infused her with a love of reading, which carries till today. In 2000, Ali decided to embark on a new path and started writing.
She has discovered that living in Louisiana and running a non-profit provides plenty of material to draw from in creating her novels and short stories. Mixing imagination with different life experiences, she creates characters that are engaging to the reader on many levels. Ali states that “The feedback from readers encourages me to continue to hone my skills as a writer.”