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SELKIES' SKINS

Selkies in the wizarding world

By Senna Black, member

Jul 19, 2012: This is an interesting one. I was attracted to it because of the title: my love of British Isles folklore in general, and Selkies in particular, makes for an instant click for me if I see those elements in a summary.

One thing that I was startled by is that this set a the universe that looks very like the Harry Potter series. At first there was only generic magic, wands, potions, etc, and references such as the Ministry of Magic, which, if you squint, could signal a broadly Potter-ish world. But non-magical beings are at one point referred to as Muggles, and that places "Selkies’ Skins" pretty close to the fanfiction category, at least in my view. So far the story hasn’t crossed into the familiar territory of the Harry Potter series: wizards at school, wizarding London, etc, but there are strong signs it’s heading in that direction.

There are a couple of other things that caused me to give this story 3 stars, which is probably on the generous side. The writing is generally solid, but the dialogue is in places clunky. Conversation is used as a tool for exposition, and there were a few places where the emphasis and cadence of the dialogue didn’t really work. In the early chapters, the POV shifts every 800 words or so, and each new POV brings a chunk of exposition. I found myself skimming chapters, trying to get to a point where the plot would anchor me and keep me reading

All that said, the characters are (so far) original, and they are fairly interesting; the story is also interesting and the interweaving of the fantasy elements is tidily done. The Selkie element is portrayed true to the spirit of the myth, and it also has that beautiful wistfulness that all the best Selkie stories have.

The Potteresque elements were quite jarring, but other than that the story has potential, so I would encourage you to check it out if it sounds interesting to you.

2 of 2 members found this review helpful.
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