Delta Legend is so much more than a scary creature story. It’s about second chances, community,new friendships, budding romance, courage, and honor.
There is an inner story that provides vital background for the legend. Kelan has really done a lot of research in order to tell you about this creature and where the events take place. Her descriptions of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are almost visual. You can almost feel the sluggish, dark water on your skin and the cold, silty bottom between your toes.
There are many characters that have their parts to play in this book. They are all essential to the plot and add depth, believability and some comic relief.
When Calvin has a brush with the juvenile court system, his mother, Angela, knows she has to do something. After losing her older son Leo to drug and gang violence, she does not want him going down the same path. Her solution is to send Calvin to stay with his great-uncle Samuel for the summer break. He wants no part of the “cuts”, or back country life and arrives with a big chip on his shoulder.
Samuel was apprehensive about taking in Calvin, but is pleasantly surprised when his great-nephew shows a penchant for machine and engine repair. He proves to be a hard worker and an asset at Samuel’s Marine Repair Shop.
Calvin’s first encounter with Mei Li, a young Chinese farm girl, is confrontational. She sees through his tough guy persona and calls him on it. She is sassy and bold and he wants nothing to do with her.
Samuel takes Calvin into the local cafe and small grocery owned by Frances. It is also where the rental desk for Heron’s Harbor Marina, which her teenage son Jess runs. The locals come there to hang out, have a bite to eat and catch up on the daily news around town. It seems every small town has one of these.
After a little bit of juggling, Calvin and Jess start up a friendship. Mei Li is friends with Jess and includes herself on their outings. It is not hard for the others to notice that Jess has developed an interest in Lauren. She is a nice girl, but hangs with the town bullies. But soon enough Lauren sees them for what they are and joins up with Jess, Calvin and Mei Li.
Good old boys Terry and Neal just want to fish and drink cold beer. They motor to their favorite fishing spot and settle in to catch some dinner when they spot what looks like debris from a boat floating in the water. Seeing what they think is a wig, they hook it and take a look. What they had on the end of that hook was someone’s face. Their return trip broke records. This is not the only encounter they have with body parts, it seems like they just can’t get a day of fishing in.
It soon becomes obvious that something is preying on the people of the Delta. Something hungry. The fatalities start piling up, and finally even Sheriff Ray Cruz has to accept that there is a deadly creature cruising the waters, killing and eating the unsuspecting .
The mish mash of locals, along with Calvin and his posse of friends and Sheriff Cruz and bumbling Deputy Burt Watson, unite to combat this evil monster. There are many more characters that I’ve not mentioned, each one adding flavor and dimension to the story. Kelan has the ability to weave them in without confusing you or slowing down your reading enjoyment. No flipping back and forth to see who’s who.
I particularly liked her characterization of Joe, Tak and Samuel. I smilingly think of them as the Over the Hill Gang.
There are a few surprises, you think something has been left out, but then Kelan slips it in effortlessly, providing all of the answers.
And I can’t wait for you to read the great “Oh No!” ending.
If you are looking for a unique monster story with lots of action, adventure and scares, I recommend you get Delta Legend and get reading.
I loved this book and decided not to do a STAR rating. It deserves much more than 5 STARS.
Kelan is getting ready to release Delta Legend in print. That’s right. Soon you’ll be able to turn the pages.
You can find Kelan here: