What would have made this book spectacular. Kill Sara at the beginning of the book as Xanthus intended, then proceed to be a book about a vengeful not-mermaid-mermaid warrior taking out his rage on unsuspecting human polluters in the most horrific of ways. Seriously. THAT would be an awesome book.
The cover…I haven’t seen such ridiculous poser mermaids since the early 2000’s. Author–WHY did you accept such horrifying cover art? I can link to about five different artists who stunning mermaid covers. This dude looks like a Poser model wearing a mermaid fin with his feet sticking out the sides. And the sharks remind me of the happy, dopey shark from A Shark Tale.
I have questions. Lots of questions. Why won’t anybody answer these questions? Namely, the author. HOW DO MERMAIDS HAVE SEX? Where is the penis? The vagina? Do they do the Futurama Atlantan thing and the male just fertilizes the eggs after the female lays them? How does anybody of any intelligence believe that she’s ‘deformed’ when she’s OBVIOUSLY GOT A FRICKIN’ FIN?
Doesn’t look anything like THIS:
Also, this book was like a bad Anna Banks’ Of Triton/Posiedon fanfiction. Really bad. Painful. Seriously. The parallels are really, really obvious. Kelly, did you copy Banks’ books? I think you did. I didn’t say plagerize, but there are some pretty dang significant similarities in the book. Like massive. Like, way too huge to have just coincidentally been the same sort of ya know, plot. Same type of feud. Same type of secret special powers–the siren-singing, the shark-taming. Same type of–yeah. I could go all day. This is me giving you the squinty-eye ;/ .
So there’s probably spoilers, but honestly, if you don’t figure out the ‘twists’ within a few pages, you’re an idiot. That’s all there is to it.
The book reads like it was written by a fifteen-year-old. Stilted, sloggy, slooooow action. Dialogue is weird and clunky. And inconsistent! Xanthus starts off talking in very proper, stiff English, then BAM, he’s using slang and contractions. What’s-her-face, the heroine, is all DON’T CALL ME CRIPPLED! and then constantly refers to herself as crippled. The book drones on and on and goes nowhere. It has these flashes of decent violence with a scary lead, and then it’s back to hair-stroking and out-of-the-blue declarations of eternal love.
Xanthus is obviously a kick-ass protector. A little smothery for my tastes, but overall, sure, whatever. So instead of going to him with a major problem, what’s-her-name runs away. To her mommy. Whom she hates. Because she’s CRAZY. There was an attempt to inject some sort of wierd subplot about how mommy makes what’s-her-name serve her and then ignores her, that really goes nowhere. The whole run-to-mom things goes nowhere, because the entire bulk of story-moving action could have been accomplished with a phone call.
Oh yeah. The heroine’s name is Sara. She’s–DUM DUM DUUUUUUM–Triton’s daughter. (You know who else turned out to be sea-god royalty? Emma, in Anna Banks’ books Of Triton/Of Poseidon.) INstead of being this fearsome ancient sea-god, he’s a big lovey daddy fish! Whodathunkit? Everybody is scared shitless of the dude, and all he wanted was a HUG.
So, the story begins with Sara doing the independent disabled woman bit. She’s strong, she’s capable, and she can still kick ass, even with a FRIGGIN MERMAID TAIL FOLDED INTO A SPANDEX TUBE. Bones. Cartilage. Muscles. THEY DON’T FOLD. Can you fold a living fish in half (and still expect it to live?). She gets into trouble with a date-raper, and Zanthus, who apparently looks like a wrestler, shows up, kicks his ass, makes him pee his pants, and saves the day. THEY FALL IN LOOOOOOVE instantly. Fast forward through way too much non-story. Angry warrior not-mermaid mermaids want to kill the mermaid-mermaids. Laws are broken. Xanthus has gone from rugged warrior to huge GReek teddy bear. Sara is suddenly done with being independent and lets him literally carry her around everywhere. Not-mermaid-mermaids want to kill Sara. Xanthus says no. They try anyway. Prison scene. Prison scene. Prison scene. Big not-mermaid-mermaid fight where one not-mermaid-mermaid kills 3 dozen more not-mermaid-mermaids.
And I forgot! The worst part! Xanthus is MARRY ME! and Sara is YES! and then she’s like omg, no, I can’t I’m scared and runs to Mommy. Crazy mommy. Yep. Xanthus hunts her down, the big dashing warrior that he is. So they’ve known each other for like three weeks and apparently, discerning from statements Sara makes at one point in the book, she’s been on her frickin’ period for the ENTIRE time. Again, I ask, WHERE IS HER VAGINA, if she’s got a frickin’ FIN?
Another huge thing that has bugged the CRAP out of me? The doctor, in the first chapter. STERILE TECHNIQUE, DUDE! Deep handwash, if not a full surgical scrub, with antibacterial soap, then your gown goes on FIRST, then your gloves–the gloves cover the sleeves of the gown. Birth is technically not a sterile procedure, but you have to be as sterile as possible.
I’m so glad I got the book free. If you want a GOOD mermaid story, read Anna Banks’ Of Triton/Of Poseidon series. It’s so damn much better. Writing-wise, plot-wise, character-wise.