Antara - Marilena Mexi This is a hard book for me to review. I want to separate it into two reviews. One for the story and one for the artwork. Therefore I think that is what I will do...

The story is more of a young MG type of read. It is sweet and the adventure is a good one to get kids involved into fantasy. You have mermaids and a handsome prince on which to swoon. The world is sweet with just enough of scary to bring together the couple. The lesson in the book is a good one about not condemning someone or something without evidence and that people are not static. One that might have been bad in the past can choose to be good. Although I thought this was a sweet book for the MG crowd, the pictures (for some parents) might have problems with the bare breasts of the mermaids (I live in America and they frown on that here). However, even having said that I did not see the pictures for the book as overtly sexual. It would be a matter of preference to the parent or person reading.

Now, I'd LOVE to turn to the pictures Marilena has made for the book. I love the paintings and are well done. I'm not easy to impress in depictions of fantasy because I have seen so many poorly done drawings or paintings. Ms. Mexi has won awards for her painting and you can tell why. The bones of the painting are strong and I enjoyed her colors. Many of the paintings are portraits of the characters, but my favorites tend to be the ones that were a part of a story. I also loved the landscapes that projected well the vastness and ethereal quality of the island.

Although I did not love the story as much as the artwork, I still enjoyed the book. I'm really glad the author was inspired to do fantasy and I hope she continues. I would also be curious as to how the author might do a graphic novel. I'd really like to see more of her characters in action poses.