Kelpie Dreams (Kelpie Tales) (2016, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) 3 stars

Meet Lady Macbeth—a high school librarian, ex-assassin, and part-time kelpie, whose mother wanted to name …

Inventive storyline

3 stars

Kelpie Dreams is the second book I successfully nominated for publication via the KindleScout programme and I received a copy from the publisher in return for my vote. I would like to thank Lee Ness (author of Deus Ex Machina) for his timely tweet alerting me to Kelpie Dreams' campaign. Kelpie Dreams is due to be published on the 10th May 2016.

Set on the Nova Scotia coast, this novel begins with the unkindly named Lady Cordelia Macbeth, known as Dee, grieving the death of her son Hamilton in a car accident. Crashing as the result of unfortunate circumstances, he plunged into the ocean and she has visited the spot in order to place a white cross on the beach. This is quite an emotional scene and a dark place to start what turns into an exceedingly bizarre and humorous novel. Dee finds herself underwater fighting with a giant octopus sea hag, falling in love with a two hundred year old horse and throwing sticks for a giant purple dog. Vernon's imagination is fantastic in both senses of the word!

I liked the detailed descriptions of scenes and creatures which made it easy for me to vividly see into Vernon's world. I was less impressed with his characters as I didn't think the people were as strongly individualised as they needed to be in order to be convincing. This is mostly down to their long-winded sections of unrealistic dialogue which, initially, is entertaining, but quickly becomes tired and overdone. All our main characters seem to speak in the same voice and these pages drastically slow the novel's otherwise exciting pace. I enjoyed the mad plot twists and inventive storyline, but think some extensive pruning is needed to make Kelpie Dreams as thrilling as it could be.