Okay so you might see that this is about mermaids and think like yea whatever like I did at first. But wait, because these aren’t just your pretty girls that sit on rocks and are nice and friendly like most popular versions depict. These are more like sirens from the old legends who lure sailors to their death with song. Not only that, but there are plenty of badass warrior ladies without fish tails in this book too!
So this book is about a girl named Meela. When she turns 18 she will be sent out on a ship to go kill mermaids that keep destroying their ships and therefore stopping their trade. Meela and 19 other girls have been trained for the past 5 years to become warriors to protect their homeland and their people. However, Meela has a secret. When she was younger she befriended a mermaid but nobody but her parents found out. Now Mela must go out and possibly kill one of her oldest friends.
Disclaimer: I listened to this on audiobook (you can find it on audible) and therefore don’t really know how to spell character names properly. If I get any wrong please don’t hate me. Thank you.
I really really enjoyed this book! I thought it was funny and captivating and really made my commutes to and from work bearable. Not only is this book full of drama and adventure but it also features a hint of LGBT romance. (Yay for diversity in YA!). I loved how diverse this book was. It included POC characters from Eriana Kwai and the mermaid were very pale skinned. And so many strong badass female characters! Like yea sometimes they were dumb and made bad choices but we can’t all be perfect now can we?
Into the story line. I can say I have never read a book like this before. I have never read a book about mermaids simply because most people don’t write mermaids how I like my mermaids. But Tiana Warner? Now she can write mermaids. I loved reading about Meela and Lysi becoming friends during their childhood and it really gave good insight to the story in the present as well as making you really sympathize with those two characters. Also the ending give a fantastic lead up to the second book in the series.
I really liked Meela’s character even though I didn’t agree with her decisions and her reasoning sometimes. I found she could be selfish and her hatred for another character a little out of line sometimes. But overall I liked her as a main character and following her through this story. Like I said before not every character can be perfect.
The romance! So if you’ve read my other reviews you might know that I’m not really a fan of romance. But I really liked the romance within this book. It wasn’t insta-love (THANK GOD). In fact it was very slow burning and natural and very subtle. So subtle that Meela doesn’t even realise what is happening right before her eyes. Although I do wish they would just talk and say what they want to say, it would make things so much easier.
I only really had one problem and that was the relationship between Meela and Dani. When Meela first describes Dani she hates her and to me that just seems like unnecessary girl hate. I don’t have a physical copy but I remember when listening Meela says something alog the lines of Dani hardly had any friends but when she did they were mostly boys and they only liked her for one reason. This seemed very sort of slut shamey to me and I wasn’t a fan. And then Meela hates Dani even though she doesn’t really do much wrong until later in the book when they’re on the ship. Only when they are on the ship do I think Meela had any true reason to hate Dani as much as she did. But thats it, that was my only issue personally.
I do have one more question… why only send 20 people? Is it just me or does that seem like a really small amount to massacre a hoard of mermaids?
TDLR; A book about a queer POC that doesn’t really know shes queer has to fight mermaids even though her best friend is a mermaid. 4/5 would recommend. Will listen to the 2nd one if it comes out on audiobook probably.
Have you read this? Let me know in the comments what you thought of it!