Dolphin's Cave


Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
196 Pages
Reviewed on 12/28/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Dolphin's Cave is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, fantasy fiction, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author D. L. Finn. The work fits best with the older end of the middle-grade age range and the younger part of the young adult bracket but can be enjoyed by any young at heart reader looking for a touching coming of age tale with plenty of dreams and secrets to unlock. Protagonist Coral Dover is a fifteen-year-old orphan with peculiar dreams, so when a chance to visit the place where her parents went missing arises, Coral jumps at the chance to investigate the images of the underwater world which plague her every night.

Author D. L. Finn has crafted a gorgeous, emotive, and adventurous work that will tick all of the boxes for MG and YA fiction fans alike. Coral is a realistic character with credible dialogue and a highly engaging and inquisitive personality, which makes her a wonderful empathetic heroine for the plot to revolve around. And what a plot it is, filled with twists and surprises as the journey of discovery snowballs into a fully-fledged adventure tale with dynamic descriptions and cinematic atmospheres to explore. I love the Hawaiian setting and the innovative ways that the fantasy genre comingles with real life, but most of all it’s Coral’s emotional resonance that creates the core of this un-put-down-able read. Overall, I would certainly recommend Dolphin's Cave for anyone seeking a dreamy drama with tons of mystery waiting to be unlocked.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Coral has been having these dreams since her parents disappeared eight years ago. Only, the dreams are becoming more intense, more worrisome. The dream begins with Coral entering the ocean and riding a dolphin deep into a cave and into another world. What do these dreams mean? Her Aunt Ruby, whom she’s lived with since her parents disappeared, is concerned and has Coral see a therapist. Frustrated, Coral decides to mask the dreams; she doesn’t want to keep telling others about what haunts her, that her parents might still be alive, somewhere deep beneath the ocean. But there are evil powers at play that threaten Coral and her aunt’s safety. And there’s a pull to bring the two home to a place where no one can reach them. It takes an unexpected Christmas vacation to Hawaii to help sort out the dreams, the fears, the evil powers, and who these people are who are trying to take Coral and her aunt deep beneath the ocean.

D.L. Finn’s novel Dolphin’s Cave is a fantastical journey above sea level and below the depths of the ocean. Are there mermaids? Or are there merely air people who live above the surface and those with magical powers and the ability to breath underwater who live in caves deep beneath the ocean’s surface? The plot develops with ease as Coral establishes herself as an ordinary teenager, excited about going on vacation to Hawaii. She has a bevy of friends, a couple whose family joins them on this Christmas vacation. The plot thickens as her aunt’s new friend, Aaron, unsettles Coral and an almost fatal accident nearly kills her aunt. Then the dreams become reality and the plot thickens as the air people try to manipulate and control both Coral and her aunt. And there’s this marvelous undersea world to explore, new family members to meet, and a world to save – all the makings of a good fantasy adventure. Well presented, developed with plenty of page-turning excitement and a pleasure to read.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Following her parents’ inexplicable disappearance eight years ago, a recurring dream of an underwater cave has haunted Coral every night. Consulting therapists did not help, nor did the fact that the dreams never reached completion. Despite Aunt Ruby’s insistence to move on, Coral still hopes to meet her parents someday. Her aunt finally plans a tour to Hawaii, the last place where her parents were seen, with her parents’ friend-cum-colleague and his family. While strangers start photographing them discreetly, Coral can tell this trip is going to be fateful. In Dolphin’s Cave by D.L. Finn, Coral and Ruby embark on a journey that will soon unravel millennia-old secrets while revealing some shattering truths about their identity.

Dolphin’s Cave is a refreshing fantasy novel studded with elements of adventure and thrills. Coral’s quest made us a part of an exhilarating journey that took place both on land and underwater. Finn’s vivid descriptions brought to life both the real and the fantastical worlds. Portrayals of the scenic Hawaiian landscape transported us to the sunlit beaches. In a marvelous feat of world-building, the author depicted the submerged golden city in intricate details. A sweet, budding romance added charm to the main storyline; nonetheless, it remained tainted by several instances of betrayal. Despite following a classic good versus evil trope, D.L. Finn incorporated a series of mind-numbing twists that readers cannot foresee. Finally, the ending had me excited to know how the story will unfold in the sequels. I would recommend this engaging tale to those who appreciate YA fantasies.