We’re celebrating the release of Oceanheart, the first novel in a new and exciting YA fantasy series called The Enchanted Pages today. Purchase Oceanheart from Amazon!
Read an Excerpt
Soran was already waist deep, waiting for me. The shark’s tooth shone white against his brown chest and he sparkled from the dusting of salt on his face. He was an ocean boy who belonged in the water. Unlike me.
‘Wynn.’ He held his hand out and I took it. His grip was strong and I was surprised by the rush of energy that went through me. I felt like I could do anything.
‘Take these and put them over your eyes.’
He held out a pair of goggles with fish skin straps attached to them. I examined the lenses.
‘They are made from shells that we polish until they are clear. Take them, I can see without them.’
I put the goggles on and took a deep breath before submerging myself in the water, never letting go of Soran’s hand. We pushed out into the lagoon and I shut my eyes. It only made things worse so I opened them and looked at the bottom. It was amazing. There was so much life, so many creatures moving about in a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. It was too beautiful to be afraid. We drifted like stars in a liquid sky with a whole world lying beneath our suspended bodies. Soran held me as we floated and his strength flowed through me. I felt as if no harm would ever come.
We found a shallow patch of sand in a gap between the coral and stood to take a breath. My heart was a balloon floating in a summer sky. I laughed and splashed water in the air. I watched the falling droplets reflect sunlight like a spray of diamonds before the water fell and ran off our skins in molten silver. Soran’s withdrawn look was gone and his tawny eyes flashed in delight.
‘You’re shining!’ he said.
I looked at my arms. Glittery bits from the sand were stuck on my skin and making it shimmer. They were on him too and the vision made us both laugh. I realised it was the first time I had seen his smile, a real one, one that transformed his face. Like this, Soran was a different person.
Soran flipped down and under the surface. I watched his body moving beneath the clear water, impossibly fast, as swift and sure as a fish himself. He stayed under far longer than any normal human being should and when he broke the surface the water seemed to part to let him through. He wasn’t the slightest bit out of breath and I almost wondered if he could breathe underwater. Then he held my hand again and we drifted off further down the lagoon, lost in wonders. The coral throbbed with colour, fluoresced and glowed. I found myself following schools of patterned fish, being drawn to the next clump of sea-fans, the next crevice filled with delicate shells.
I went further and further, more confident in the water than I’d ever been. But as we floated down the bay, things began to change. The coral wasn’t so bright and then the colours grew dull and sludgy. Patches of murky looking seaweed appeared and the branching corals no longer formed an underwater forest. They lay in shattered pieces on the black sand, white and bleached as the bones that lay around the village. Soon there was nothing but rubble with lurid green algae all over it. I looked sideways. I had been so focussed on the changing landscape that I hadn’t noticed myself drift close to the drop off, out where the deep water shaded into darkness. A trench lay ahead and it led to a pass in the reef. There was nothing between me and the open ocean.
An oceanic world where the stars are going out. Saltwater people and a shark that stalks in dreams. A girl with a nightmare, a mischievous guardian and a boy with a secret.
Meet Wynn. She thinks she’s a misfit and hates showing weakness. Only one person really touches her heart and that’s her little sister, Stella. But Stella is in a coma and it’s all Wynn’s fault.
As Wynn creates a journal of might-have-been memories for her sister, she finds herself pulled into a magical island world and sent on a journey through danger and despair. She’s never been in a jungle and she’s terrified of water. Then she meets Soran. He reads nature like a book and can survive anything on land and in the sea. What Wynn doesn’t know is that Soran’s secret could destroy her.
The island could destroy her too. It’s no paradise. Paradise doesn’t have poison masters called the Teeth. It doesn’t have Sorrowmaker patrolling the reefs. And in paradise, you don’t have to face your greatest fear to fix your biggest mistake.
Winner of an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship Award 2011 and an Olvar Wood Fellowship Award
Pen Clements would like to be a botanist, a Shaolin monk or an anthropologist in a galaxy far, far away. She’d also like to have wings, breathe underwater and meet an angel. Unfortunately she hasn’t managed all of that yet, but being a writer lets her pretend.
Pen lives in tropical north Queensland with her husband, two sons and a traditional wooden sailing boat. She loves exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and is inspired by the natural world.