I received this book free from Month9Books in return for an honest review
I have always like stories about mermaids and this is on of the most engaging ones I have read in a while. I easily slipped in to the tail and was kept there from beginning to end. I really like the different angles , this story brought to the mermaid Myth ie the connection to the little mermaid and the Hans Christian Anderson tale but also the idea of being exiled on land due to war. This exile was padded out well with a believable mythos behind it as a well thought out way of life for the mermaids co-existing with humans on land.
I wasn't a huge fan of Lia and thought she made some bad choices in the book. That being said though, i liked seeing there be consequences of the bad choices and the fact that she wasn't portrayed as the all perfect heroine.
I also liked that even when I was able to predict certain plot points, there were also things that came as a surprise and others that made me just enjoy the journey. The story and the writing flowed well, keeping me invested in the story till the end. I wanted and need to find out how it would all turn out.
This story works as a stand along however Goodreads does have it as book 1 of the Mer Chronicles. I am really hoping that means we get to read stories about some of the other characters in the Mer World. In particular i would love to read Caspian's story, I was really intrigued by his character, his insatiable need for learning, languages on particular, and what he and his family had experienced from other Mer as result of his siren Aunt.
I really loved this story and this world and gave it 3 3/4 stars!
** I received this ARC from Barclay publicity via netgalley in return for an honest review **
I mostly enjoyed this novel and found it a quick easy and relative engaging read. You know those books where you, despite noticing a number of things that in any other novel would annoy the heck out of you to the point of not finishing, you actually still quite enjoy it. That was this book. I know its a story set in Greek mythology and there are only so many gods in this mythology to write about but the story itself didn't feel overly original and in fact in places, I saw shades of Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. I also wasn't so sure about the fusion of witches and Greek Mythology so the connection didn't really work to me.
Sometimes it felt like Ms Madow is trying to add all these elements that make a good story but the story itself felt really contrived and you could see the thought and the strategy behind everything which draws me out of the story rather than drawing me in.
I also struggled to connect to most of the characters which probably didn't help.. The main character, Nicole, lives in her own head a lot and then the use of dialogue to hash everything out made a lot of her worries incredibly repetitive. I did the connection between Blake and Nicole more in this book than the first but I still struggled a little to connect to the characters in general.
I also found it a little conflicting in terms of its messages as one minute Nicole is worried because she has the power to kill with a touch then the next the five are killing in self defence and not being overly bothered by it. The writing of this book has the feel of a middle grade novel but some of the themes seemed a little too old for middle grade novel
That being said though, this book is a fast easy read that you can literally get through within a few hours. I did mostly enjoy it and will read book 3 to see where this series goes.
I enjoyed this book more actually than I expected to. The blurb intrigued me as I knew who the Bronte sisters were even if I didn't know too much about their childhood and I also loved the idea of fantasy worlds come to life so I was eager t see how these two things would go together.
At first I was little unsure but as I read further and saw the siblings cross over to their fantasy world for the first time, I was hooked and eager to see how the story and the story within the story would play out.
I felt that Ms Coakley's writing really brought the Bronte siblings to life for me and I felt compelled to find out more about their real life after finishing this story. I could feel Anne's steadiness and strong opinions despite her shyness, Emily's wild spirit and Charlotte's need to be the strong older sibling/mother figure in the face of losing their two elder sisters to Tuberculosis years before.
I loved the way that Ms Coakley was able to blend both real historical events in the life of the siblings with their journeys to the fictional worlds they had created and I also saw echoes of characters they would one day create in their published works such as as Catherine, Heathcliff and Jane Eyre in the text of this story and the characters they dream up to populate Verdopolis and Gondal.
There is a magical quality to Ms Coakley's writing in this novel and indeed the story itself. I found myself pulled into the story almost as much as the siblings were and I loved the way she played with the relationship between an author and their characters. The idea of a writer entering a story and creating it as he goes has been done in titles like the Inkspell series by Cornelia Funke but what I liked about this play on the idea was that we saw the darker side. Yes these siblings have this amazing ability but what price are they paying?
Ms Coakley really expertly weaves the threads of the story both in siblings home in Hathorn and in Verdopolis to create a darkly magic tale that will keep you spell bound till the end.