Original Title: Tangled Ties to a Manatee
Author: Kalen Cap
Release Date: May 5th 2012
Genre: Humor, Crime Thriller
A pregnant manatee is rare at any zoo, and a first for the Grove City Zoo in Ohio. Ankh is a delight to zoo patrons, a concern to its staff, and the unintentional victim of two con men. She has no idea how many human relationships, problems, and dreams tangle around her.
Jerry is a young developmentally disabled man who happily follows Ankh's pregnancy on the zoo's webcam. He has a shy crush on Janelle, a pretty college student who volunteers for his group home’s outings to the zoo.
Jerry's Aunt Vera also loves nature and runs an environmental retreat center. But all is not well, with Vera or the center. The center needs money and is under investigation as a cult.
Amid their college studies, Janelle and her friend Cecily try to help. Instead, Janelle re-awakens an old obsession in Vera when an innocent tarot reading hints at how the center might be saved.
Two bumbling con men are attempting to sabotage the region’s electrical grid as part of a lucrative scheme. But Jerry accidentally gets in their way and becomes their captive.
When the con men surprisingly succeed in bringing the grid down, it spells danger for Ankh, her unborn pup, and the many people tied to them both. With investigations of their own, Cecily and Janelle try to untangle it all to find Jerry, save a manatee’s life, and rescue Vera from herself.
Tangled Ties to a Manatee is a humorous crime thriller with environmental themes that is revealed through multiple points of view. The novel emphasizes college-aged characters, though not all, such as the developmentally disabled ones, are in college.
There are numerous characters in the novel, who all have different stories of their own. And all these characters get somehow tied to a pregnant manatee at the zoo. All these characters are aware of one another at some point in the novel and its really clever to build the plot like that. I would loved to read more about the said manatee, but unfortunately, there was very few paragraphs alloted to that.
The author has tried something completely different in the way of writing. But, although I really appreciate it, this would have better worked with 3-4 main characters..not for more than 10 characters. It took me too long to understand the plot and characters. By the time I understood them, I was near completion of the book. I have to admit, when I did understand, I loved it.
The problem is you need patience..in a vast quantity. I didn't tell you about the synopsis or plot, because this is one of those books, where opinions might vary widely. While I loved the characters individually, due to the problem in remembering 'who is what', and the confusions in bringing them together, I lost the interest somewhere.
The ending was satisfying though, mainly because after a lot of struggles, I understood the plot and I was able to remember the characters.
Very good try on plot building! But, could have been more understandable and less confusing.
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