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Book Review: Downtown Selkie by Angelika Rust

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Length: Novella

The Skinny:

The Opening

It's a good opening that hooks you into the story. One of the Point of View characters, Xan (Alexandra) is on her way for an illicit swim in a pool that does not belong to her. This leads fairly naturally into her being stopped by a member of the gang to whom her aunt owes protection money. This debt is one of the major initiating incidents for Xan to start down her coming-of-age path.

The World

The author limits the action to an unnamed city that is close to, but not on the ocean. There are three or four well described locations and the rest of the world is glossed, which is fine for a novella.

The fantastical elements are slowly revealed in the shape of predominantly Greek mythology. I feel that the author could have spent more time describing some of this, I don't have a very clear idea of all the elements and I would have been interested to read more.

The world building is well done with mostly showing, very little telling.

The characters

The point of view characters are believable and relatable. The character histories as explored in the novella match the characterization displayed by the characters. I found the villains of the piece a little over the top, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the story.

The Plot

A fairly straightforward coming-of-age story, it is made enjoyable by the author's style, world and strong characterization of Xan.


I enjoyed the story and the characters. The author's voice is very easy to read and the story blended myth and real world problems in a very believable fashion. Would recommend to all fans of urban fantasy.

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