Delta Legend by Kelan O'Connell

When 16-year-old Oakland California teenager, Calvin Pierce, makes a bad decision and winds up getting arrested, his mother is quick to take action. Determined not to lose a second son to the drug and gang violence of the inner city, she sends Calvin to spend the summer working for his great uncle in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

There in the predominately-white region of agriculture and recreational boating, Calvin’s a fish out of water with a chip on his shoulder. Complicating matters, a smart, beautiful (and feisty) local farmgirl, Mei Li Cheng, isn’t buying his city-boy ‘tude and relishes any opportunity to challenge him. If their instant combativeness is a thin veneer for attraction, the outcome might have to wait. When severed body parts are discovered floating in a slough, Calvin’s summer of proving himself takes on new meaning.

Something deadly is lurking in the deep, murky waterways of the Delta. Now the daunting task of containing the living incarnation of a mythical creature falls to Calvin and his ragtag posse of oddball characters

When I first read the description of this book, my mind automatically went to visualizing the movie Lake Placid. Although after reading it, about 50% in we find out that it is not a man-eating crocodile on the loose, but something more Legendary, and more dangerous.

There is an ensemble of different characters and they all bring something different to the story. There is humor and along with the "Legendary creature" we also get cultural facts and other myths from the area that the camp is in.

I did wish that the story took off a little bit sooner than it did. There are some hints and deaths that happen before we know what it is that is causing them, but it did take me until about 50% into the book before I became completely engaged into the story line. Even with a bit of a slow start for me, I ended up enjoying the story.

This book follows a male main character which is happening more in Teen reads recently and I for one jump at the change in perspective whenever I can. The story has a little bit of a campy feel along with the humor. Some death scenes but nothing I would consider too gruesome and a little bit of history, mythology and of course the main Legend.
I know it's weird for one reviewer to link to another's but my favorite review of this book can be found here I think she says it best.

I want to offer a ebook copy of this book to one lucky commenter, just remember to make a note of how I can contact you! A winner will be chosen on August 25th!


  1. Thanks again for reviewing my book on your great blog, Krista.

    One of the very first YA bloggers to review Delta Legend was Paula Cotton of Reading Lark. I was stunned that she actually compared the story to one of her favorite movies, Tremors.

    I wrote Paula and confessed that Delta Legend was originally a screenplay I'd written during my days as a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood, and that one of the screenplays I studied while writing it was in fact, Tremors. Delta Legend's first incarnation was a Teen Horror Movie spec that I wrote in 1999/2000. Paula wrote back that she was "grinning ear to ear" that she'd pegged it. I've since done several interviews where I talk about converting the screenplay into a novel (which isn't done very often, it's usually the other way around). 

    But there was one other screenplay I studied back then. I was even thinking that at some point I would hold a Name That Monster Movie Contest to see it anyone could figure out what other screenplay I studied while writing Delta Legend. However, that contest was just won without ever being announced.

    Krista, you nailed the other screenplay - it was Lake Placid. Both Tremors and Lake Placid had all the elements that I was going for with Delta Legend: lots of whacky characters, a scary creature, unlikely heroes, and plenty of comedy.  And the very last scene/chapter of Delta Legend is so reminiscent of Lake Place - one of those, "Oh no, not again!" moments. I can still see Betty White feeding those little baby crocks!

    So, congratulations to the "non-contest" contest winner!

  2. oooh! Thank you Kelan for commenting and giving the readers a few insights to the story :)


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