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Promises (Syrenka #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  705 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiance, would make a wonderful husband exc ...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published April 8th 2012 by CreateSpace (first published December 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
Guys!!! Guys!! It's a book about mermaids, guys!!

Buddy-read with the fabulous Jess and the amazing Heather to take place at some point in august :)

2 Stars

I have been having the devil of a time with novels lately. I just can’t seem to find a story that satisfies me. Promises is no exception, while there are some truly interesting moments the book as a whole ultimately failed me.

Probably the biggest reason for that is INCONSISTENCY. I had such a hard time figuring out motivations for these chara
Promises was a new experience for me in many ways. To my dismay, I haven’t read a whole lot of mermaid books, and I really want to change that. So I was excited about picking this one up. And the world-building was decent enough to keep me interested – there were mermaids, selkies, kelpies, water sprites, naiads, and nereids (I think I’ve got them all). It was nice to read about these legends and how they all correlate to one another, who’s got power over whom, that sort of thing.

However, it was
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Hey, guys, did you know I'm obsessed with mermaids?

Thank you to my fierce Karly and fearless Heather for buddy-reading this one with me in August.

Admit it. You know you'd rather be one of them too!


Read a book with a love triangle.

2 stars.

This is another one I just never got around to writing a review for. Overall this was a miss but there were a couple things I liked.


Well this is me, so this should be expected. And I liked that the mermaids in this novel are ki
Heather *live on coffee and flowers*
Another buddy read with The Fabulous Jess and Karly! (Because I invite myself to things like that.) Set for August.


I almost don't want to give this one star, since I think there was actually good idea here. Somewhere.

I liked the initial setup. Mermaid loves selkie, mermaid is set to marry merman, (view spoiler). The main issue was the characters' ages, really. It was hard for me to believe a clan of merpeople would be okay a
Jan 31, 2012 Erika rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Title: Promises (The Syrenka Series #1)
Author: Amber Garr
Number of Pages: 276
Date of Release: December 7th, 2011
Summary From Goodreads:

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful hu
Sep 07, 2012 Teresa rated it it was ok
[More of a rant than review]

I do not know where to start with this book.

But lately, I've been getting into indie reads and trying to discover something awesome, particularly in supernatural or folklore stuff, something as good as Angelfall.

But it turns out not every indie read can be expected to be as good as a debut as Susan Ee's book.

When I first read the blurb/summary for this story, I thought, sure, why not? It's a mermaid/selkie story and I haven't read anything fishy since the Little Merma
Feb 21, 2012 Jmbswim rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I really did; however, there were a lot of things that bugged me. This book isn't really well known, but a lot more people should read it! It is only 99 cents on Kindle and iBooks. You should go buy it. Now.

This is, you guessed it, a mermaid book. It starts off with out main character named Evania who has been in love with a selkie but is promised to another merman who she is not as in love with so she decides to run away with him and that leads to chaos. Brendan, the selkie,
Nov 09, 2013 Jessie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really don't know where to start with this book. There were so many times with it where I felt like I've been there, done that. I was bored with so many areas of the novel that I just wanted to put it down and pick up something else. Right when I was about to do that, something would happen in the book that would keep me reading it.

I love selkies, and that's probably the biggest reason I kept going with this because there just aren't enough selkie novels out there. But I really felt like the
originally appeared on:Bookshelf Confessions

First, I’d like to say that I loved the cover. It fits wonderfully into the theme of the novel.

“Promises” is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of clan wars, tragedies and immense loss.
I admit that it’s easy to predict the storyline in the first chapters, but soon I’d find a lot of unexpected turns and twist that left me stunned and emotionally affected. And from there, I was totally hooked
MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov
I am happy to say that 'Promises' was my first mermaid book and I enjoyed it! Amber Garr did an AMAZING job creating this magical world of mermaids, nymphs, water sprites and Selkies. I fell in love with all of the characters they played a great roll in the story/plot.

The Plot:
Seventeen year old Evianna Dummahl is a mermaid that just wants to live her life, her way. That is clearly impossible for Eviana because she is next in line to be clan leader of her tribe and she also is being forced to ma
Title : Promises
Series : The Syrenka Series 1
Author : Amber Garr
Pages : 251
Release Date : Dec 7 2011
Publisher : Self-pub
Format : Paperback
Source :
**From the author in exchange of an honest review**

My Opinion :

It seems like mermaid books are getting more and more popular, and, I am really happy about that, because I love them and books about them!

Promises is a debut that will leave you curious for more!

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.
Promises is the story s
Aug 09, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the ‘Syrenka’ Blog Tour!)
This is book 1 in the ‘Syrenka’ series.
17-year-old Eviana is a mermaid. Not only is she a mermaid, but she is her clan leaders eldest child, which means that she will be the next clan leader. Mermaids are a dying species, which means that they must marry and breed appropriately. Eviana’s parents have arranged a marriage for her, to Kain – the heir of the Matthew’s clan, who as mermen go, is quite a catc
Jul 25, 2012 Rebekah rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Reflections of a Bookworm

What worked: The cover completely drew me in but before I read Promises, I had never read a mermaid book before but if the rest of the series is anything like this book, I'm in for a treat! Amber really has a talent for conjuring up really vivid scenes in your imagination and I have to say that I'm Team Kain all the way. I found the world and hierarchy's that Amber created were really intriguing and I loved all of the characters, especially Kain of c
Kat (Kindred Dreamheart)
With my crazy schedule and only a few hours to spare between, I spent every lax second reading this book. I refused sleep in favor of just a few more words. And I now stare bewildered at my Kindle wondering “Where has this book been all my life?” I am in awe! This is my first book involving Selkies , water spirits, and so many other paranormal water creatures. I've said it once and I'll reiterate: Mermaids are the new “it” supernatural. This book showcase a different variation to mere culture. M ...more
*A copy was provided by Amber Garr for review purposes*

I haven’t read a lot of mermaid books in my life, so I’m trying to get more into the genre. Promises by Amber Garr seemed to be a great book to read, and it was okay. There were a few things that I didn’t really like, but overall it was a pretty good story.

I’ll just go right into it and rant about the things I didn’t like. The huge thing was the writing. I understand that as a self-published author you have to edit your own work and it’s har
Sep 20, 2013 Myndi rated it it was amazing
Ok, the first thing I must make clear is that I LOVE mermaids. I have since I was a kid. That will color my opinion of mermaid related books, just to be clear.
That being said, I did love this book. It's got everything a great YA or Paranormal Romance book needs. We've got a forbidden love, some disapproving parents, tragic circumstances, adventure, danger, and mystery all rolled into the first installment of Syrenka. Eviana is our main mermaid character...I found her to be strong willed, and opi
S.K. Munt
This is going to be my most to the point review in history. In short:

*I do NOT like the selfish, stoopid heroine.
*I do not get hot for seals.
*There is only Kain...but I hate it in love triangles, when the other guy (you like) is divided.
*The level of tragedy was not cohesive to the girlish and flimsy narrative.
*This got depressing, fast-and stayed there

And finally???? Still one if the most intriguing mer books I've read, which has me scratching my has to be Kain. Reminds me of Bi
Apr 11, 2015 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like mermaids to the point of near obsession, so when I found this book I immediately jumped at the chance. I found it quite interesting how I'm so obsessed with mermaids but have never heard of selkies. I will definitely be on the look out for me books that involve these amazing creatures. Moving on to the book, Eviana Dumahl is a mermaid who is to be the next leader of her clan who is hopelessly in love with an underling selkie. Kain Matthews is Eviana's supposed to be arranged husban ...more
Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape.

Translation:Because she acts like a spoiled whiner and never pays attention to mermaid politics despite knowing that she belonged to a very important clan, Eviana runs around doing whatever she wants without consider
May 20, 2014 Larajoline rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, mermaids
I don't really know where to start with this book. It was a constant change between boredom and overload for me.
t first the story was too boring, even after being halfway through I was still waiting for something to happen. But everytime I was close to giving up something small would keep me reading. Once Evs and Brendan ran away the story picked up a bit and within maybe the last three chapters there was suddenly so much going on that it was a complete overload. Considering the first part was
Feb 27, 2013 Caketress rated it it was ok
*sigh* I've liked all of the mermaid books I have read but for some reason, this one.. I don't know. It moved way too fast for me. And not only that, I feel like I never got a good idea or mental picture of the characters or locations/surroundings. This story felt so rushed to me.. it makes me not want to read the next two. I suppose I'm just not a fan of Garr's writing style. I liked the storyline but the pace of the book was frustrating.
Tracy Decresie
Aug 06, 2014 Tracy Decresie rated it it was amazing
In all honesty, I had no idea this was a book about "mermaids." A couple pages in, when I DID realize it, I almost changed my mind because I've never been into fluff mermaid stories. Luckily this WASN'T that type of story and a chapter into it, I was hooked! (No pun intended.) I actually forgot it was about mermaids until the mention of "changing" whenever they jump into water. This is a fast paced story of rebellious young girl who thinks she knows everything and pulls the most selfish act poss ...more
Rivalie (Forever Obsession)
First off, this was a great combination of mermaid and underwater creature story. I haven't read a ton of books on selkies and I confess to having a small addiction to them. Come on! Seals are so cute! Anyway, romance between a mermaid and selkie is strictly forbidden by underwater law which only spices up the romantic aspect of the story even more. Since we're on the topic of romance, Brendan is definitely a girl's dream guy, understanding, loving, and not that bad looking either. Eviana is als ...more
Frances Livingston
The Syrenka Series, "Promises" A review

Even though this book would probably be greatly enjoyed by younger readers, I found myself engrossed in the story and had a hard time putting the story down. I enjoyed the tale of mermaids and selkies as subject matter. It was refreshing to read about something other than vampires and werewolves. The story was very well written and all of the characters well defined. I liked the main character very much. I only gave this read 4 stars as I do not think that
Tia Bach
Nov 16, 2014 Tia Bach rated it really liked it
Eviana knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to do what's necessary to get it. She's in love, but it's not the guy--or the species for that matter--her parents have chosen. Eviana makes decisions based on love, but she doesn't have all the information. Will she really have to choose between her love and her family?

This was my first foray into the mermaid universe, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But, I loved the mermaid folklore and idea of selkies (I'd never heard of them before this boo
Joseph McGarry
Jun 15, 2014 Joseph McGarry rated it really liked it
Shelves: swimming, mermaids
I received a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This is the classic tale of star-crossed lovers, and a love triangle, with a twist. The lovers are Eviana, a mermaid, and Brendan, a selkie. (A selkie wears a seal skin.) They are not permitted to mate. Eviana is pledged to Kain, leader of a rival clan, in an arranged marriage. It is to take place on her 18th birthday, which is within one week. She really doesn't want to marry Kain, and tries to run away with Brendan. Soon, however, eve
Seeing Double in Neverland
Jun 13, 2014 Seeing Double in Neverland rated it it was amazing
Seeing Double In Neverland's Review:

5 out of 5 Stars

This is one of our favorite mermaid series! Amber Garr does not disappoint with this book, the fantasy and romance start from the moment you start this book to the end. Amber's writing is filed with so much detail and she has an imagination unlike anyone else.

Eviana is a mermaid in love with the wrong person. She is arranged to marry Kain. The problem is she has loved Brandon a selkie for as long as she can remember. Her family and all the mer
May 31, 2014 Fallon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of our favorite mermaid series! Amber Garr does not disappoint with this book, the fantasy and romance start from the moment you start this book to the end. Amber's writing is filed with so much detail and she has an imagination unlike anyone else.

Eviana is a mermaid in love with the wrong person. She is arranged to marry Kain. The problem is she has loved Brandon a selkie for as long as she can remember. Her family and all the mermaid clan is opposed to that happening.

There is one
Celise Winters
Aug 10, 2012 Celise Winters rated it it was amazing
Please click here to read the full review!

Wow! Promises simply left me open-mouthed! This book is seriously one of the best I've ever read. Since I was little, I was always of fan of mermaids. The ocean fascinates me, with all its mysteries and wonders, so much so that I always spent my time watching The Little Mermaid. I thought it was the best movie ever. But, don't get me wrong. I never once imagined that fish and lobsters and seagulls were singing while in the water. I wasn't that gullible.

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Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of the bestselling The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, the award-winning The Water Crisis Chronicles, and the Death Warden Serie ...more
More about Amber Garr...

Other Books in the Series

Syrenka (3 books)
  • Betrayal (Syrenka, #2)
  • Arise (Syrenka, #3)

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