Jennifer Murgia was raving about this book before its release. Luckily, Anne Greenwood Brown was one of our wonderful authors at YA Fest 2012 and I picked up the book and had her sign it. (Let me tell you – she is a gem!)
A gripe: The cover is totally misleading! The story is told from a male POV (which isn’t bad!) but I was expecting a female narrator based on the completely beautiful and awesome cover image.
Calder is a merman. His sisters – Maris, Pavati, and Tallulah – are mermaids. Each summer, they migrate to their “home” of Lake Superior. This year is different. This year, they will be able to get revenge on the son of the man who killed their mother. Only one problem: Calder falls for the daughter. Will he risk everything for her? (Yeah, he probably will.)
Bear with me – I read this a week ago and my brain is fuzzy from writing and work overload.
I liked it. The premise was unique in that Brown didn’t try to fantasize mermaids. They kill in order to survive. Of course, Calder has been testing his own willpower and hasn’t “eaten” for a few months. But Mavis, the head of the family, is ruthless and will do whatever she has to to survive. Including sacrificing her own family for revenge.
The story is very Romeo & Juliet in that Calder uses Lily as bait to get to her father, in order for his sisters to get their revenge. However, he ends up falling for her. It’s a slow process and she fights him throughout the entire book. It wasn’t like show bowed down and suddenly thought he was Adonis (or Poseidon?), but it almost got annoying at times. At least since we didn’t get her perspective.
Calder, like Romeo, could be a little whiny about things. It might have been his self-imposed fast against killing, though. I’ll give him that for trying to be one of the good guys.
In all, the story was decent. There are a few twists at the end, which really tie things together. I felt it drag a little through the middle, but the end totally makes up for it! Seriously, the end was amazing. It was the best part of the book. I love how Brown brought everything together and made Calder into the hero he was denying he was. At one point, he even calls himself “a worthless hero,” which I thought was pretty fantastic. Brown does tie in poetry and myth into the story, as well – mostly The Lady of Shalott.
I know this is a crap review, but it’s almost midnight and I’m about to fall over. In all honesty, this was a good read. It’s a new “creature” in the paranormal/urban fantasy field, which may make you think twice about swimming in the ocean…(or Lake Superior). And if you’re like me and find the middle a little slow, STICK WITH IT. The end is great and it’ll leave you cheering for the book.
Sequel, you say?
A sequel – told in Lily’s POV! – is set to come out in 2013.
ATLP Rating… 7/10 stars.