There are few things in life that genuinely intrigue me.
- What happened to the Jonas Brothers? Did they die in a plane crash?
- Why is there braille on drive up ATM machines?
- Who was the idiot that inspired the “do not drink” sign on the back of concrete mixers?
- Who in there right mind would think to combine the fascinating world of mermaids with the destructive premise of dystopian literature?
I’m still working on the first three, but as for the mermaids? I can blame that on Ami Blackwelder.
“Mira always knew she was different. Growing up with Mers, she never quite fit in. When Mira breaks the rules and takes Niren with heracross the border dividing Ellis Island and New Jersey, the border dividing two vastly different worlds, she thought the journey to find out who she really is would be an easy one.
But, as the world in Jersey proves to be a convoluted mix of aristocrats who hate the Mers, pirates who want to sell them, and magi who want to use them…finding her true identity will be a challenge, especially when her best friend Niren is a Mer willing to fight to the death. “
In the interest of saving time (cause I’m going to be horribly wordy with this review) on with the good the bad and the ugly.
Blackwelder did an amazing job of creating a unique story set in a well thought out (very “Waterworld-ish”) dystopian society. The introductory creation of her future world was vivid, imaginative and detailed enough to paint a very lucid mental image. And her distinction of “classes/races” (including the behavior each were subjected to) was handled quite eloquently despite the horrendous treatment she inflicted through her writing.
All of the characters had strong backgrounds, (which of course lead to tons of doom and gloom in the second half of the story) and though there were more than a handful of characters at any given time, their distinction through their actions made it very clear who the narrating party was.
Unfortunatly these few “good” things took a back seat to the few “bad” things.
The Bad: It was too long.
I know you are probably looking at the page count for this book (196) thinking I’ve lost my marbles for calling it too long, but that’s exactly what it was. I found myself on several different occasions thinking I was at the end of the book, only to turn around and find out I had another 25% to go. What this tell me is that Blackwelder was so determined to tie up loose end, (and avoid a catastrophic cliffhanger) that she burned through her characters’ plot issues much quicker than she should have resulting in a “finalized feeling” well before the story was complete. If she had opted to end the book at one of these major revelations vs continuing the story through several more (bright shiny and new) issues, I wouldn’t have felt quite so weighted down. As it stands…I feel like I have everything I need to complete the story myself which eliminates the need/want to read it’s second installment.
Also, where Blackwelder’s descriptive passages shined like the jewels mentioned in her story,
“Slapping her arms into the water, Mira glided smoothly beside Nerin. They pushed forward towards Liberty Shore, or at least in the direction Nerin’s internal compass guided them. Mira trusted Nerin completely, and if he said Liberty Shore sat wet, west they would go. But maneuvering in the seas grew more difficult and dangerous as darkness rolled over them and heavy waves crashed against their fragile bodies.”
the dialogue between her characters felt stiff and forced.
“I don’t know, Mira, but I image if you unravel the secrets of your parents, you will find out.” “Then I have to return to Remantville.” “It would seems so.” “But first, I must save the Mers from further destruction.”
The disconnect with the dialogue led to a disconnect with the characters and ultimately…I didn’t care what happened to them. That’s not a very good sign. Did I want them to die? No. Would I cry myself into a hot sloppy mess if they did? Probably not.
Overall? It wasn’t that bad of a read. It had a few redeeming qualities that kept me interested, (like the expertly choreographed action scenes) and even though it morphed through 3 or 4 different genres (YA, Dystopian, Fantasy, Greek Lore…) it had a solid direction. (Which I have to say is impressive for a book about mermaids.)
Buy it if you like our fin-tailed friends, pirates and a pretty pissed of Poseidon, avoid it if you prefer short journeys.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: the apple NEVER falls that far from the tree.