A positive yet gritty, enjoyable YA fantasy: a little bit Earthsea, a little bit steampunk, a little bit Cthulu. Why is it, I wonder, that slow transformation from human to fish – a fin here, a scale there – is such a horrific image? I can’t and won’t add to all the high praise Vikki gave it but I will mention its two stand-out points. One is that the author obviously groks the seaside, and I mean a proper seaside with cliffs and rocks and caves. Cornwall, basically, where I spent many happy holidays. Why places like Bournemouth even bother trying to be seaside I don’t know. Just flat sand – where’s the fun in that? Oh, and the other thing: the way the protagonist Hark slowly wakes up to the fact that he is essentially in an abusive relationship and takes steps to end it.