October 09, 2011
Venus Among the Fishes by Elizabeth Hall
Coral and her brother Snapper have set off to look for their brother Silver. Killer whales have been attacking their dolphin pod and they need his help to save everyone. But their travels aren't easy, dangers lurk around every corner and when Coral is captured by humans, she worries for her brother's safety. But miraculously she ends up at a dolphin enclosure where her other brother Silver lives. She begins to forget the pod as she performs tricks for humans and learns to please them. But something never settles right for Coral and she isn't sure what type of life she'd like to lead; that of a free dolphin, or one protected by the humans.
For dolphins these characters were believable. As no human has been a dolphin its hard to say what they could really be thinking, but in my opinion, this book captured what they could be like. Coral was a great protagonist and like a human, went through many different thought processes. I also liked all the minor characters and thought they added to the story as well. My least favorite would probably be the Killer Whales; while they were an integral part of the story I don't think we learned enough about them to make a huge difference in the book.
I wouldn't say that this book had a set plot. Rather the plot and goals seemed to change and it was more like real life; only lived by a dolphin. This is a children's book but you should be warned that there's some disturbing scenes in it. One, the murder of a whale by whalers is somewhat descriptive and could effect some people negatively. And its not the only death mentioned in the book. The other writing is fairly easy to read and the speech the dolphins use was intriguing. I think it made it that much more effective in the writing because they weren't talking like people so you didn't forget who they were.
Overall a great kids book (or guilty pleasure for an adult) and one that I come back to again and again. I highly recommend taking a look at this one.
Venus Among the Fishes