Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review - Starfish Girl by Athena Villaverde

Starfish Girl

The author offers this synopsis:

In a post-apocalyptic underwater dome, there lives a girl with a starfish growing from her head. Her name is Ohime. She is the starfish girl.

Alone in this world, Ohime must fight for her life against lecherous crabmen, piranha people, and a yellow algae that is causing humans to mutate into fish. Until she meets Timbre, a woman with deadly sea anemone hair. Ohime thinks she is safe with her new protector and friend, but Timbre is on the run from a violent past. Now they must escape Timbre's former master, the evil Dr. Ichii, who is determined to conquer the underwater dome . . . and destroy the starfish girl and her friend in the process.

Starfish Girl is Athena Villaverde's first novel. This novel has a very interesting setting. It reminds me of an episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants with the sentence enhancers that Mr. Crabs warns against. The title character, Ohime is a sweet girl that is part starfish. She was told by her parents to find good people and get them to safety with a ship only she knows the location of. Early on she befriends Timbre, an assassin. Together they try to reach safety while the evil scientist Dr. Ichii is on their trail with is army of mutant warrior assassins.

Villeverde builds an interesting world under the sea. She packs in a lot of action and conflict. Many of her scenes of conflict are lifted right from the book of TV tropes. Thankful she adds her own uniqueness to something so unoriginal. I don't blame her for this. After all, this is her first novel. Every writer does it. Unfortunately, Villaverde, tips her hand and in my mind I know what she will write before I read it. Despite the negatives, it's a very good story. Good versus a very horrible evil. Villaverde saves not only the girl but fills all the seats in her ark.

My biggest problem with this story is that it was over so quickly. When all the promise have been kept, evil has met justice and the time to ride off into the sunset has arrived, Villeverde doesn't give her characters time to mount the horse before the novel ends. I found that very frustrating. Yay! The good guys win but at least let's have a party in their honor and say goodbye.

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