Harbor’s Edge by Sanne Rothman


Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Sanne Rothman’s young adult thriller, Harbor’s Edge, piques the curiosity while romancing the imagination, with a story that offers mystery, the supernatural, budding romance, and an intelligent 14-year-old heroine on a profoundly insightful journey to self-discovery.

The story is set in beautiful Hawaii with which author Sanne Rothman does a wonderful job of detailing the beautiful environment. She brings forth both its timeless natural beauty as well as artfully presents intriguing aspects of Hawaiian life and culture especially with her incorporation of the lore of the dark and ancient sea monsters called The Mo’o, the legend, and mystery of which is initially contemplated by Harbor early on in the story.

Initially, as the story unfolds, we meet Harbor, a young, resilient, intelligent teenager who finds her life shrouded in mystery and sadness. Having lost both her parents under mysterious circumstances, she fights with feelings of abandonment as she seeks to solve the mystery of what truly happened. She lost her F.B.I. agent father to a cold-blooded murderer and her mother, who disappeared without a trace, leaving her and her younger sister Fig in the care of their TuTu (grandmother). TuTu owns a popular, local restaurant, featuring Hawaiian hamburgers and Harbor works at the restaurant in the drive-thru which allows her the opportunity to practice analyzing the faces of customers based on techniques from her father’s FBI profiling manuals. She works on her skills at analyzing faces in the hopes of finding clues to her father’s murderer and clues to her missing mother.

Overall a story filled with well-plotted twists and turns fueled by excitement and building tensions when children begin to turn up missing and Harbor thinks she may have a lead. Moreover, the story carries a mystery within a mystery as Harbor makes a friend at school, Keyne, with whom the sparks of first love begin to ignite, however, he seems to have an air of secrecy surrounding him as well.

Altogether, Harbor’s Edge turned out to be both an imaginative and absorbing read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I found myself instantly drawn into the beautifully set world of Harbor, shrouded in mystery, supernatural legacy, and artfully fueled with intriguing plot twists including, the unique inclusion of clues disbursed within each chapter. Additionally, I also enjoyed the likable characters within the story, especially that of Harbor. She’s a relatable and intelligent character, easy to sympathize with and whose exciting journey to self-discovery was easy to follow. Absolutely, a worthwhile and noteworthy read that left me wanting more. I look forward to Book 2, Keyne, and The Wrath of The Mo’o. Overall, this would make a good choice for an end of summer read and I recommend it.