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Watersmeet by Ellen Jenson Abbott

January 29, 2010

Today, I’m featuring theYA fantasy Watersmeet by 2k9 debut classmate Ellen Jenson Abbott. From the moment I saw Ellen’s cover, I wanted to read the book. It’s one of those covers that says, “Listen, I have a secret you want to hear.” And what a secret lies in those pages!

Abisinia, an outcast in her dystopian world, escapes from the only home she’s ever known to find the father she’s never known.  The prejudice and discrimination she’s endured through her short years prepare her well for the difficult journey she undertakes – to a mystical place she’s heard about called Watersmeet. What it doesn’t prepare her for is the depth to which her own heart could carry those same types of feelings.  I’ll use epic here because her journey represents the journey of the entire world Abbott has created.  It is a world of extremes, where your physical appearance determines your status and races are steeped in hatred and mistrust. The town of Watersmeet provides a haven where creatures of different backgrounds can come to learn trust and acceptance – if they don’t destroy it first.

Things to like about this story: It’s good fantasy and good fantasy is difficult to come by. The world and characters Ellen created are real and their struggles are are eminently identifiable with prejudice and discrimination in our own real world. Her world is vivid and easy to imagine. And don’t forget about that beautiful cover – never underestimate the power of a great cover!

Audience: Upper midgrade, YA and adult. It does contain some violent elements.

Ellen Jenson Abbott has created a unique and wonderful world and characters that I care about. I see Abisinia continuing her journey into adulthood and becoming a force for good in her world. I hope that sequel comes out soon!

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