YA fantasy romance book review: At The Waters Edge by S. McPherson



Five star review!

A must read for fans of fantasy, romance and stories such as Harry Potter.

A chance encounter on-line with
S. McPherson late in 2015 led me to read At The Water’s Edge – the first in a series of magical fantasy romance tales aimed at anyone who enjoys YA (young adult) fiction. While romance is not my usual reading genre a well written and well-structured story is always a joy to read. This is not the first romance book I’ve read. Last year, in my quest to discover the secrets of the most famous writers and learn about writing romance, I read The Witness by Nora Roberts.  Widely regarded as the queen of romance she has over 200 titles to her name. The fact that I mention Nora on the same page as S. McPherson should be taken as a hint at the treat in store for those who dive into At The Waters Edge.

The first thing that drew me into this novel on the very first page was the use of first person present tense as we begin to learn about life as Dezaray (the heroine) knows it. It took a little getting used to but soon felt natural. The writing quality is exceptionally fluid and easy to read throughout the whole book.  There are occasions, when relating events from Lexovia’s perspective (more about her in a moment), when the writing changes to third person present tense.  Again, initially a little strange but very effective at distinguishing Dezaray’s and Lexovia’s points of view in the story.

We very quickly get hooked with hints of something magical hovering at the edge of Dezaray’s world before she plunges through a portal into a parallel world of magic, swapping places with her near identical counterpart, Lexovia, in the process. Then Dezaray meets Milo and the most in-depth portrayal of a building romance I have ever read begins. Dezaray is swept away into the dizzying story of love while danger lurks in the background in the form of the evil Vildacruz who count glowing green eyed warlocks and fanged vampires among their number. And here is the rub, Dezaray’s counterpart Lexovia now trapped in our world until the portal reopens is destinated to defeat the Vildacruz with magic Dezaray just does not possess.  Dezaray and Lexovia cannot coexist in the same world for long, to attempt it is fatal. How will Dezaray and Milo ever remain together?

This is the first in the series so we will have to wait for future stories to find the answer to this question. Until then, “hold your breath”.

A note on writers craft

One of the subjects I often write about on this blog is story structure techniques. An approach to designing stories for drama. At The Water’s Edge is written in such a way and carefully edited to produce all the right plot points in just the right places. It would be possible to show a 9 step story structure breakdown for this story just as it would be for the works of J. K. Rowling, Nora Roberts and many other top authors.

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