A Sea Tail

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
245 Pages
Reviewed on 03/04/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

An American semi-retired dentist, Dr. Ulysses Manque is looking after his sister-in-law Amelia's house under repair in Venice, Italy. A local water bus captain, Lorenzo, asks Dr. Manque to examine the corpse of a fish-like creature cut in two and without a head. To his astonishment, Dr. Manque discovers that the creature not only has scales but also skin. Dr. Manque finally gets the police officers' attention after reporting a shark attack. He returns to the canal, where the creature was found, and hears a strange splash. The officials visit Dr. Manque and ask him to avoid talking about a shark attack in the lagoon. Then, one of them mentions mermaids. Dr. Manque begins exploring the issue and even makes ritualistic offerings in memory of the alleged mermaid. Is it his imagination when he sees a hand snatching a ring out of his fingers and taking it underwater? And who is the mysterious girl Dr. Manque found by the water one foggy night? A Sea Tail by Marvin Brauer is a compelling read for fans of urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, and magical realism.

In A Sea Tail, Marvin Brauer explores various possible human reactions to something otherworldly that comes from folklore or fairy tales. The author guides us through one of the most charming and mysterious European cities: Venice. Brauer does a tremendous job of capturing and conveying the unique ambiance of Venice. We discover this beautiful city along with Dr. Manque. Ulysses Manque is a character full of surprises. Reserved and preferring the company of pigeons over interactions with people, Dr. Manque is touched by the death of the unusual creature, and his unexpected inner metamorphosis begins. Brauer crafts complex secondary characters, like the self-confident Amelia or the kind and romantic Praznash, a shopkeeper from Bangladesh who believes in mermaids. I like Dr. Manque's significant first name. Brauer's descriptive writing style reminds me of classic literary works. In addition to its many intriguing and dramatic twists, A Sea Tail is a heartwarming story of empathy, acceptance, and understanding.