If you've kept up with this blog at all, you probably know by now that I'm a pretty big fan of Krissi Dallas. I've been waiting on pins and needles for her latest book, Watercrossing, ever since I read the teaser in the back of Windfall. So you can probably imagine my excitement when I won a pre-release copy through her Facebook page. (Since Greg and I were with my parents on vacation in Pagosa Springs when I found out that I won, they don't have to imagine my excitement. They got to witness it firsthand) Well, the book arrived on Saturday afternoon, and I finished it (all 300+ pages) before I went to bed on Saturday night. Yeah, I was really excited.
There is always a certain exhilarating dread that goes along with the anticipation of the latest book in a series. I find myself asking questions like, Will I like it? Will it live up to my expectations? What if I hate it? Will it be as good as the rest of the series? Believe me, I've had to live with my share of disappointment. But thankfully, Watercrossing does not disappoint. Not only is it just as good as the previous books in the Phantom Island series, Windchaser and Windfall, but I think it's even better. The story and the characters pulled me in and wouldn't let me go until the last page.
If you haven't read Windchaser and Windfall, read them. If you have, you know that Windfall ends with Whitnee and her friends back at Camp Fusion after an out-of-this-world experience on the White Island of the Dorians. Whitnee is desperate to get back and try to find her father, who has been missing for six years but just might be hidden somewhere on the Island. Several individuals on the Island are just as desperate to get her back, for various reasons. While Whitnee, Caleb, and Morgan plan, research, and hope to find a way to get to the Island, life rolls on at Camp Fusion. Romance is in the air, and Whitnee finds herself drawn to her friend Caleb, despite all the potential complications of their friendship and the knowledge that there is someone else somewhere out there -- someone she would really like to be able to forget. There are some adorable and downright hilarious scenes between Whitnee and Caleb. I laughed a lot while I read this book. But just underneath the fun and frivolity, all is not well. Morgan is clearly distracted and not herself, and Whitnee's camper Amelia sinks into depression because she feels rejected by her parents. As the summer rushes to a close, the friends put together a great plan for how to get to the Island and what they'll do what once they get there, but you know what they say about best-laid plans...and if you want to know the rest of the story, you'll just have to read the book.
I do have to say one thing about the ending: it isn't one. Like the end of Windchaser, it's more of a pause for breath before the next book. Unfortunately, unlike Windchaser, the next book did not come out simultaneously, so fans will have to wait on pins and needles warmed by hot coals for Watermark, which is rumored to be out "sometime next year." Bummer. So if you are the kind of person who doesn't handle suspense well, you might want to wait and read both books at the same time.
When I read the Wind books, what really impressed me was the worldbuilding. Krissi does such an amazing job of it that when I saw the map of the White Island in the front of Watercrossing, I thought, "Yeah, that's pretty much exactly where I thought everything was." As you read, you can really "see" the people and the places in the story. In Watercrossing, it's the character building that really stands out. From Whitnee's determination to act more like an adult and keep her focus on finding her Dad without distractions (hello, hot Island boy) to Morgan's struggles, and all the little glimpses we get to see of other characters in between, these people come to life. They feel like real people with real issues that I can really care about it, and I love that.
In spite of the crazy ending, I really liked this book. For some reason, the word that always comes to mind when I think of Krissi's writing is "sparkly." Since I love sparkly things, I was thrilled to see that Watercrossing sparkles and shines even more brilliantly than I dared to hope it might.
(In case you're wondering, Watercrossing officially releases May 22, but you can get it earlier if you know where to look. Also, I reviewed it because I liked it. I receive no compensation of any kind from the sales of this book.)