New Novel for All Ages Introduces Mystical Girl on Magical Adventure
Review by Tyler R. Tichelaar
Get ready for a true sea adventure! Victoria Bullock’s Somewhat Mystical: A Story of Fantasy and Magic is just about the most magical novel you will ever read. Written for all ages, it will delight young and old, teaching the young to dream and the old to dream again, and at the heart of this amazing book is the reminder that, ultimately, all is always well.
The story opens when a young girl of six is found floating in the sea by a pod of dolphins. She has fallen overboard from her parents’ boat during a storm and been lost. The dolphins, fearing she will die, quickly come to her rescue, bringing her to Rock Island, home of the walruses. The island’s inhabitants name her Seasil because she loves the sea. Soon Seasil has recovered and is quite happy living on Rock Island, enjoying eating raw fish like the walruses, picking flowers, and even winning over the gruff Father Walrus.
But Seasil’s adventures have only just begun. In time, her walrus and dolphin friends realize they must help her return to her human family. Seasil is taken by the dolphin pod to where she will be sighted by a ship. Hopefully, its crew will then be able to help her get home.
What happens from there would ruin the magic of the story if I shared it, but it is sufficient to say Seasil’s love of the sea does not end with her return to her family. Her adventure on Rock Island is only the start of a series of magical adventures. Everyone who meets Seasil feels there is something “mystical” about her, and in time, the reasons for those feelings will all be revealed.
Somewhat Mystical has an unforgettable cast of characters who join Seasil in her adventures. Readers will grow fond of Mother and Father Walrus, who come to love Seasil like their own. Then there is Makalla, the leader of the dolphin pod; she is a dolphin of great intuition who sees the good in others, even when they appear to be her enemy. Primal, the great white shark, at first seems interested in Seasil for less-than-pleasant reasons, but his discussion with Makalla about why she chooses to save Seasil begins a chain of events that causes an awakening within him to another side of his nature.
And then there is the wonderful crew of Eva, the ship that rescues Seasil. This multicultural crew is led by Captain Cali Anna; a lady captain is rather an oddity in the eighteenth-century when the novel is set, yet she boldly sails the seasons, keeping her family tradition alive. Deckhand Akila, has a name gifted her by her Egyptian mother while her father is from the African AmaMpondo Kingdom. Her fellow sailor Jack is Irish, and Raoul, the ship’s chef, hails from France.
And yes, there are mermaids—a whole school of them. Plus, Elaina, Seasil’s little sister, who comes to learn from Seasil that she can do anything she sets her mind to. And Phin, another dolphin, who becomes Seasil’s best friend.
The novel culminates in the wonderful Festival of the Moon, a celebration of all the good that exists in the world, a world in which we learn “all is well” and one that is full of love, for “there simply can never be too much love in one’s life.”
At times, Somewhat Mystical feels like a pleasant raft ride down a lazy, gentle river. At other times, it’s a wild rollercoaster ride that makes you feel like you’ve just been shot out of a gigantic blue whale’s blowhole! It’s a book of empowerment for the young. It’s a book of reconfirmation for the young at heart. It’s a tribute to the value of inner knowing and a testament to, as Bullock states, “an understanding that imagination is the one true realism.” It’s a novel that pushes the boundaries of realism until we come to believe that fantasy is reality.
As Seasil says, “All the world is magical, Father Walrus.” This book will make you believe it. It’s a magnificently, mystical, fun book, or as Father Walrus would say, “It is as beautiful as a four-foot mackerel hanging from my mouth.”
Congratulations, Victoria Bullock, on telling us what we all tend to forget but deep down inside know and need to be reminded about. I can’t wait for the Disney or Pixar movie that needs to be made out of this book! It will blow The Little Mermaid out of the water.
For more information about Victoria Bullock and Somewhat Mystical, visit Amazon.
About the Author
As a young girl growing up just south of Detroit, in Michigan, Victoria Bullock was blessed to have a small swimming pool. It is there that her imagination allowed her to swim with dolphins and mermaids.
As a teenager, Victoria was inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. She always enjoyed books full of magic and fantasy the most.
Eventually, all grown up, Victoria moved 500 miles north and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northern Michigan University. There she fell in love with the wilds of the great north. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she raised a family and created her forever home, which happens to be on an amazing sandy lake that is perfect for swimming. Other loves are hiking, yoga, and dreaming (both in sleep and awake states).
Victoria’s love for all things mystical continues and always will. Just ask her cat, Mystic; he will tell you it is so for he is a very intuitive cat.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, PhD and award-winning author of The Children of Arthur series
Somewhat Mystical: A Story of Fantasy and Magic