Anna Davies debut novel Wrecked has an intriguing premise. After losing her friends and boyfriend in a tragic boating accident, high school senior Miranda develops a connection to the mysterious stranger who saved her life. The stranger, Christian, is a betwixtman—an almost merman—from Down Below—the enchanting world below the water—who is charged by the evil witch queen Sephie to kill Miranda since she was supposed to die in that accident.

This story, loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, had plenty of potential, but Davies squandered it all. She spends too much of the book following the depressed Miranda as she skulks around Whym Island blaming herself for the accident (and being blamed for it by everyone else). She spends too little time developing Christian and his inner turmoil between killing Miranda and loving Miranda.

When they met, I hoped the story would pick up; but the novel’s elements had already begun to bore me. The book is full of forgettable characters that keep popping up solely to cause Miranda more grief. And when the book reaches its climactic finale, Davies spends so little time with the buildup that it fizzles instead of exploding.

Buried in Wrecked is a decent story, but Davies fails to fully draw it out. Teenagers, for whom the book targets, would most likely find few faults with it; but the book lacks any appeal for older audiences. Hopefully her next endeavor isn’t such a wreck.

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