Frances Schmidt is a young woman graduate who has decided to write her thesis on mermaids. Getting hold of source material proves to be tricky Being the only female in her class she feels the pressure to be the best she can be and at the same time keep a low-profile so when she gets a lead about a gentleman living in Maine who collects books about mermaid lore and she decides to travel to there to convince him to let her look at his library.
Being a very private man Garett has already turned away others from his library. But Frances has a secret weapon. Her homemade cookies. This breaks the ice and Garett gives in and invites her inside. She is amazed at the interior and finds that the rumors about his collection of books is true.But she also finds it a peculiar that someone who purchased a house right by the beach would avoid going near the ocean. Garett is in fact a merman and if he cant swim in the ocean he will become deathly Ill. He lives in fear of anyone finding out his fishy secret and even if he starts to have feelings for Frances he could never marry her as he doesnt want to pass on his affliction as he thinks of it.
I love books featuring mermaids I really do, thats why its such a pity so many of them end up a disappointments (skeevy or just badly written) or its the same old plot -mermaid falls in love with human and gives up the ocean to be with him. Its not a bad story precisely but the thing is to borrow a quote from Ariel I want more and more in this case is more underwateriness
Frances is part of the breed of New woman as they were called in the Edwardian era she left her small town and big family to study at university.She has always been told she is plain so when she makes a friend in Garett she is just happy to have someone to talk to.Someone who can appreciate her finer qualities. Garrett had two sides to him not only when it comes to his human self and his mermaid self but he wants to have companionship but at the same time he is afraid of people shunning him if they ever found out his secret.When he was just a baby was left on the doorstep of a lady who took him in and raised him,but when his "affliction" was discovered made him feel like he was some kind of monster. Its a simple sweet story but there is most of the angst comes from Garrett as he has a hard time reconciling his human side and his merman side.
He had decided long ago that celibacy was the only honorable path for a creature like him. He could not risk his taint, his disease being transmitted to the next generation. He would not bring another monster into the world. He dove into the water. As always, with the pleasure of the change, he felt his melancholy lift. Down here he could not understand why the dry version of himself loathed his body. He wasn't repellent. He was a strong, healthy merman. His scales were a lovely blue, the color of his eyes. Frances would like him if she saw him, just as much as he liked her.
Its ingenious (be it deliberate or not)to put the setting to the Edwardian era as thats about the same mermaids were coming back in popularity in art,fashion and the new medium - film
I really loved the bit about Thoreau and the mermaid. It made me grin. If you are the kind of person who expects to have straight answers to find out where Garett came from (and how his kiss could turn Frances into a mermaid) then youBut I didnt mind it would have been nice to learn the answers but in the end its not really important. If the author decided to write a sequel where those things are answered I for one wouldnt mind,as I would love to spend more time with Frances and Garett.
But as it is "In over her head" is a delightful little tale find of a book a bit of historical fantasy for the romance and mermaid (and merman) lovers out there.
Fenton is a product of the ore-mancers craft,who with their dark powers can meld flesh and metal. But in his case their experimenting to merge a humanFenton is a product of the ore-mancers craft,who with their dark powers can meld flesh and metal. But in his case their experimenting to merge a human with a kraken didnt turn out as planned and he was deemed a failure. As a child he was bought by the vicious pirate captain Reis who captains the Razors Edge.
All sailors feared when the demon would rise from the darkness far below and tear apart friend and foe alike. Fenton feared the void the kraken created inside him. He had to touch its dark mind to control the monster's path and relay the captain's instructions. Only Fenton could control the kraken, and the captain controlled Fenton and he hated them both for it.
Fearful of his powers to call the Kraken the cutthroat crew barely tolerates him except for his fellow victim of the oremancers, Timmy the boy with a spyglass fused into his empty eye socket.
The Razors Edge happens on a small vessel after the carnage is over its revealed to be a research ship sent out on orders of the ruler of Darjee to bring back a precious but unusual cargo...
Pale fingers wrapped around the edge and the body sat upright. Water streamed from long black hair and plastered it around head, shoulders and chest..
It is said that whoever consumes the still beating heart of a mearmaid will be able to know the mind and secrets of all men. A power the wicked and cruel Lady Alise would very much like to posess.
Realizing they are sitting on a goldmine if they were to bring her what she covets instead of the scientist crew. They take the caged mermaid and set sails for the Island of Illusion.
Fenton is drawn to the mermaid, who he learns is named Ailin at first from pity for her,then fascination and finally love. Even if Reis ridicules him and says the mermaids sirens ways is rotting his brain. Ailin has been trapped in the stifling dark coffin for what feels like an eternity but this landwalker opens her cage and treats her with respect. She is unable to read him as she can others and his affinity with the kraken is strange to her as its a creature to be feared but Fenton is anything but that. Soon her feelings starts to mirror his. He wants to free her as long as Reis is his jailer he cant leave or disobey his commands.
This book did have a twist that I didnt expect but probably should have guessed at by the hints that were dropped but I didnt.So bravo author for throwing in a surprise.
But here is the thing that I have to mention this book feels very derivative of Pirates of Carribean movies 3 and 4, and also towards the a scene made me think of Disneys the Little Mermaid. I wont tell you what but it struck me as very similar as something that happens towards the end of that film.
This is very much a dark fantasy The oremancers what we learn about them is enough to give you the creeps.When someone is disabled in someway danaged they are given over to the oremancers to be "fixed".
We also hear something of the Lady Alise,ruler of Darjee nothing wich makes me think good things of her even if she doesnt show up in person.
Even the way the characters are described reminds me of Philip and Syrena from POTC.
The writing and dialogue has a quality that makes you feel a bit detached from the story.There is a formal quality to the dialogue that brings to mind like watching a movie.
But know what? I liked their romance from the movie and so I couldnt help but like Fenton and Ailins romance too.
I loved the ending...it was very beautiful.
So in the end I feel a bit torn. Should I judge it on the fact that it reminds me too much of another piece of fiction and has its weak bits or should I ignore that and just give it a good rating? Ive decide to go with the latter. ...more