What a fantastic book! Unfortunately, this title is currently or better said, at the moment my review was written, only published in German. But I wanted to write a review anyway because this title is too great and too wonderful to be ignored by the rest of the reading world. I got caught by the beautiful cover at first sight. And to be honest, the back text was as promising as the cover design, so this one went home with me.

by Andreas Eschbach
Publisher Arena on June 1, 2015
Genre Children 14+
Pages 400
Format Hardcover
Source Library

There´s a secret in the depth of the sea … Be aware of the sea! That´s what Saha got taught. A strange injury forbids the sixteen year old every water contact. In Seahaven, Saha is, because of that, an outsider. The town at the seaside of Australia lionizes the sea. Who does not dive or swim here, doesn´t belong to society. Like Saha. But a terrible incident puts that in question. For the first time, Saha dares to step into the ocean. There she discovers the incredible. She has a gift that must not be – can´t be. Not in Seahaven, not in the rest of the world. Who or what is she? The search for answers leads Saha into the darkest abyss of a blue shimmering world … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary). 
Saha and her aunt Mildred live a life at the edge of society, only because they're different. But their happy, and that´s all that counts. But when Saha starts to ask questions, life becomes difficult. She is a Chimera, something, others don´t want or understand, especially not in Seahaven. The town lies within the Neotraditionalismus zone and there it is strictly forbidden to be genetically transformed. But is she really genetically transformed? And if, how can she keep it a secret? Because one thing is clear: if she has to go, her aunt would go with her, and that is the problem. Her aunt’s happiness counts more to Saha than anything else.

The story of Aquamarin takes place in the year 2151. People use a device called board (which is what we call a tablet nowadays) and do everything with it. The world is sorted by zones; some areas of the world are called group division and some are free areas. The technique is only good if she serves the human beings who use her. Andreas Eschbach shows this conflict in a very sensitive and great way. His fantasy is so brilliant that you can actually really see how the world beneath the water surface looks. The story is told from Saha´s point of view. Aquamarin is well written and towards the end really breathtaking. And the saying you-should-be-careful-with-your-wishes is here taken literally. One figure gets in the end what she wanted all along, but in a totally different way than expected.

The author created not only a world that lies in the far future but also characters that are completely opposed. As different as they are, they have on in common: they´re all very convincing and profound.

Saha, the protagonist, is different. She is neither pretty nor tall, her face looks like a fish and she does everything to avoid contact with others. She just doesn´t want to get noticed by them. So she dresses in clunky and casual clothes, her hair is a mess and in her spare time, she has nothing else to do but to read and learn. No wonder, that the rich town beauty, which happens to be her schoolmate as well, tortures her every chance she gets. Her life starts to change, as one of those concourses for Saha into a very dangerous situation turns. She figures out why she is different, and with the help of Pigrit, a young boy from her class, she discovers the great world of printed books.

So I only have two things left to say. First: I want to read more about Saha! And second: You have to read this novel – it´s worth every second you take of your time to read it.

Happy reading
Andreas Eschbach

Andreas Eschbach, born in Ulm, Germany, studied Aerodynamics at the Technical University of Stuttgart. With his books, he climbed definitive into squad of the German Top-Thriller authors. His books for young readers are published at Arena Verlag. In 1996 he won one of the highest awards of German science fiction, the SFCD-Literature Award. And he is prize winner of the great German science fiction award, the Kurd Laßwitz Award, too. Today he is considered to be one of the most successful German SF writers ever. He lives as a freelance writer with his family at the French Atlantic coast.


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