Book Club



Dark Shores

Earlier this month I realized that, in more than two years of doing this book club, I hadn’t featured a Canadian author. Well, that’s embarrassing! In true Canuck form, I can only apologize and to rectify the situation, this month I’m recommending a YA (Young Adult) novel from Danielle L. Jensen, from Calgary, Alberta.

When it comes to female Canadian writers, readers are spoiled for choice. Sure, there are powerhouses like Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Louise Penny, but I thought it would be fun to cast a wider net and discover someone new. I decided on Dark Shores because it’s marketed as a pirate adventure and really, you don’t see too many of those anymore.

The female protagonist, Teriana, is indeed a sea captain but in my opinion, this book isn’t a high seas adventure. It’s a fantasy romance with an action story subplot. Teriana and Marcus (the male protagonist) are from different worlds and in order to save their people, they must sail to a new land and conquer its people in the name of their Emperor. It’s the adventure that brings them together, and keeps them together, until they find their happily ever after.

Now, you may be wondering why I chose a book that’s aimed at teens. Good question! It’s because even though YA is geared toward the 12-18 group, there are as many (or more) readers far north of 30. I admit to being a tad puzzled by this because I for one was thrilled to leave my teen years behind and the thought of revisiting them, even in fiction, gives me the heebie-jeebies. 
Flashbacks of my adolescent angst aside, I’m constantly on the lookout for books to recommend to my daughter and seriously, if the writing is good enough, I’ll read anything. If YA is up your alley, give Dark Shores a try. It’s the first of a trilogy so if you like it, you’ll have two more books to enjoy! Jensen’s books are well rated on Amazon (Dark Shores has a 4.5 rating on Audible), so true fans of YA are giving her two thumbs up.

However, if YA isn’t your cup of tea, keep Dark Shores in mind for the teenager in your life because (dare I say it) Christmas is only four months away. One note if you’re thinking of Dark Shores as a gift; there’s a whole bunch of swearing in it. It’s not hardcore profanity, but I wouldn’t have wanted my 12-year-olds reading it. For readers 16 and up, it’s sure to please.

Honestly, I found Dark Shores to be a fun and fast read that hits all the right notes. It’s a light-hearted, swashbuckling, sword-wielding teen romance that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.

Audiobook Review

The audiobook is narrated by Jeanette Illedge and Jeremy Arthur and both performers do an excellent job. It’s definitely worth an Audible credit, but if there are little ears around, you may want to break out the headphones!

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Valerie Francis


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