Caution! Read Tera Lynn Childs’ Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever before continuing with this post. Just for Fins is the third book in the series and is definitely not a stand-alone title. (You could read it without reading the previous two, but you’d miss a lot of very important plot points and details. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?)
Before I dive (pun intended) into Just for Fins, I’d like to wish everyone who follows this blog a very happy holiday season! Whatever you celebrate this time of year (and even if you don’t celebrate anything), I wish you all the best, and I hope you have a season filled with warmth, laughter, friends, family, and, yes, books! I probably won’t post anything else until after Christmas, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say, “Happy Holidays!” and thank you for following Knight Reader this year. (I’m hoping to post a couple more times before the year’s end, so stick with me. 2012 isn’t over yet!)
On to the real reason you’re here…
If you’ve read Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs (or even if you’re marginally good at picking up clues from titles and book covers), you know that the Fins series revolves around merpeople, specifically one mermaid princess named Lily. In the previous two books, Lily had to deal with relationship issues (like bonding–and unbonding–with the wrong guy who actually turns out to be the totally right guy) and deciding if she wanted to give up her claim to the throne of Thalassinia so that she could stay on land with her true love. In Just for Fins, Lily’s problems are about to get a lot more complicated. Yes, she finally decided to claim her birthright (with the help of an in-name-only bond with Tellin, the heir to another kingdom), and she’s mostly worked out her relationship issues, but she must now learn about the politics that come with ruling a mer kingdom.
Lily’s first order of business is to gather the leaders of the nearby mer kingdoms together to provide aid to Tellin’s dying kingdom of Acropora. The changes in the ocean environment, most of them caused by humans, have wreaked havoc on the fragile ecosystem of this once thriving kingdom, and it will not survive if help is not sent soon. Lily’s intentions are good, but she doesn’t realize that all of the mer kingdoms (except her own) are suffering from the same types of issues. The other leaders are reluctant to provide assistance when their own situations are becoming dire. Lily must find some way to make everyone see that they are interdependent on each other, and they can provide help to each other–and possibly repair and reverse what humans have wrought on the oceans–without resorting to drastic–and even deadly–measures.
And that’s not all Lily’s dealing with, boys and girls. It seems that ancient mer law has yet another obstacle to throw at Lily’s relationship with her human boyfriend, Quince. If the two want to remain together, Quince must pass a series of tests to prove he is worthy of being the companion of a princess. These tasks will test his physical, mental, and emotional commitment to Lily. Should he fail–or should he be helped along by Lily–the two will be separated…forever. As if a mer princess didn’t have enough to deal with…
Will Lily be able to wrap her head around all that is happening around her? Can she convince the other rulers to work together to combat climate change in their beloved oceans (without doing harm to themselves or the humans they blame for the situation)? Can she step back and trust Quince to pass the tests that could decide their future together? Dive into Just for Fins to find out!
Just for Fins is a fast, fun read, but it does address a pretty serious subject: the environmental impact of humans and climate change on the world’s oceans. It’s a serious subject, and it’s treated as such in this book without being too terribly preachy. This book does bring up an interesting point. Would humans treat the oceans with more respect if we knew that merpeople were living–and dying–there? (I’m not so sure, but I’m a cynic.) The author does let readers know–through a fun, young adult fiction book–that something must be done quickly to save the world’s oceans–the entire planet, really–or the damage could be catastrophic. (There’s nothing fictional about that.)
So, if you’re interested in stories about mermaids, want a light, fast read, or simply want to see how ocean environments might be dealing with climate change, pollution, and other man-made environmental problems, give Just for Fins (and the first two Fins books) a try. As far as I know, this third installment is the last book in the series, but I’ll keep you posted if there will be any further adventures of Princess Lily. You can learn more about this series and others by Tera Lynn Childs at the author’s website or through Twitter.
Merry Christmas! Knight Reader out!