Reviewed by Barbara Garcia for Readers' Favorite
Ocean's Gift by Demelza Carlton is the story of Joe, an outback electrician, who decides to use his two months off to go on a fishing trip. What he actually “catches” is far beyond what he could have hoped for. Mermaid Vanessa and her daughters have had to come ashore and assume their human forms in order to investigate what, if anything, humans are doing about the ecological effects they're having on the oceans of the world. The fate of humans is very much a concern to mermaids as there are no males in their species, and they rely on human males to father their children. Joe believes he's found the perfect vacation when he's hired to be a deckie on a fishing (lobster) boat for his two months off. What could be better than getting paid for being on vacation? How about meeting the stunningly beautiful Vanessa? For Joe, that's definitely the best part!
As the story is told from Joe's perspective, it keeps the story from getting bogged down in seriousness. He, like most males, has but one thing on his mind from the moment he lays eyes on Vanessa. Although the attraction is mutual, it doesn't stop Vanessa from doing what she came there to do. Ocean's Gift is a sexy weave of mermaid mythology, environmentalism, and how all life on earth is entwined one with the other at some level. This is much more than a playful tale of Joe's apparent attraction to Vanessa. Cleverly, and subtly integrated, there are no “in your face” lectures about global warming and littering the oceans; rather, just a hint at the decisive action that must be taken by the mermaids to address the problems that are obvious to them, yet seem to have little concern for humanity. But at its core, this is a sexy playful romp between a mermaid and Joe, an electrician on a fishing vacation, and it's that storyline that makes it a fun read.