Hey, writers and readers!
It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing Selkie Cove by Kara Jorgensen, or the fifth novel in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. Check out the review below and make sure to give your two cents in the comments section if you’ve already read the book, too!
Rating: 5 stars
Adam begins the novel by having a no-good, very bad day. He’s let go of his accounting job and worries his dreams of meeting his career goals are destroyed because he suspects his employer is aware that he doesn’t fit the hetero-normative mold.
Emmanuel, however, gets a big break when he’s given special charge over a new specimen in the museum. He’s asked to analyze it before the rest of the researchers catch wind of the mysterious creature. It looks like a seal, but Emmanuel soon discovers that it might be a glimpse into the world of mythological creatures than just another cold case. He discovers that it’s part human, part seal—which sets his curiousity aflame and finally tempts him to join Her Majesty’s Interceptors to learn more about the creature and protect others of its kind.
Immanuel and Adam have just a week to travel to Seolh-wiga Island and discover the killer. They soon meet locals like Greta, who would rather that the two men keep their noses out of their businesses than discover the truth that affects everyone on the island.
Read more to learn if Adam and Immanuel solve the murder, offer justice to the creature, earn their place with the Interceptors, and escape with their own lives in the process.
What I enjoyed:
My favorite part was definitely all things to do with selkies. I feel like it’s safe to discuss here because both the book title and book blurb mentions selkies. I’ll try not to give away too many details, but Jorgensen did an excellent job of gradually unveiling the selkie characters.
The selkie characters basically reminded me of a more bitter and untrusting version of the Amazons featured in the Wonder Woman movie: powerful, brave, confident, and uncooperative. Well, uncooperative with outsiders, definitely. They immediately distrust men and have a whale of a time (nautical pun?) wrapping their heads around Immanuel and Adam, both being queer gentlemen.
I don’t think I’ve ever read nor heard of a novel with a focus on selkies, so it was a fun adventure to learn more about selkies in general and watch Jorgensen unravel a crazy story about their dealings with the people on the Seolh-wiga Island. The selkie characters are not cuddly and adorable like you may have seen in Song of the Sea, but they’re pretty harsh and uncaring. Once you learn more of their backstory, you realize why. It’s sort of difficult to like them because of this fact, but I’m starting to appreciate the Unlikeable Character because they act and think for themselves, rather than for the readers to love them.
My Final Thoughts
Jorgensen is still the queen of character development and really lets her queer characters have their day in the sun. She reminds us that just because you’re with the person you love, it doesn’t stop you from reliving and rehashing the darkest parts of your past. It still doesn’t bar one from having to deal with their own demons—supernatural or mental.
She does a beautiful job of depicting Adam mentally working through his dark and sad attachment to his brother. Even though the brother is long dead, Adam remembers how his brother loathed him for his queerness. It still affects the way he tries to connect with Immanuel, while simultaneously pushing him away. Both have to communicate their fears to complete this odd task and take on whatever life throws at them.
Again, if you’re a fan of LGBTQT+ positive literature, you needed to read this book series yesterday.
I hope I shared enough to pique your curiosity without giving too much away! If you’d like to learn more about Kara Jorgensen and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Have you read this novel? Do you have your own thoughts about it? Share with me in the comments!