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(Syrenka #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  958 ratings  ·  141 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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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
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 char
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
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
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
Ashley Daviau
Feb 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
I’m always eager to read anything involving mermaids so when I picked this book I was really excited and had high hopes. Sadly those hopes were quickly dashed to ribbons and then set on fire with the ashes left to scatter in the winds. This book was just PAINFUL to read. Not only were the characters and the writing cringeworthy but it was riddled with errors and weird formatting that just made my brain hurt. Do yourself a favour and skip this one. I went through the pain so you didn’t have to.
Jan 31, 2012 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 04, 2012 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
Nov 09, 2013 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
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
A Bear and a Bee Books
So first, confession time, I love mermaids! In fact, I’m pretty sure I thought I was one for a time period. That said, let’s talk about my overall impression of this book. I did enjoy it but would have loved more description relating to the water scenes. There is one portion with caves that I found very appealing. The characters are interesting but I would have loved some more back story regarding the friend group. They seemed to become lifelong friends extremely quickly. In addition, the writin ...more
Sarah Elizabeth
Jul 05, 2012 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
Emily Blake
*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
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-reader
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
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
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Very few books about merfolk hook me after the first chapter, sad but a true fact. This one however (and thankfully) was not the norm, it completely had me entangled in the story after just the first few pages.

The writing was beautifully done and flowed so smoothly that I started the book and before I knew it I looked down and I was almost half way through it. It felt like no time had passed at all as I became so immersed in the story that I had lost track of everything else around me.

The chara
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Promises is a FABULOUS read! Once I started reading it I could not put it down. I had to continue reading to see what would happen. I have the honor of being on The Syrenka Series Blog Tour and I have to say this series so far is AMAZING. There is something about Mermaids and Mermen that draws you in and you can't help but want to read and read until you get to the end. In Promises there are so many twists and turns you would have never thought but the way Amber weaves her story makes it fit nic ...more
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
Beatrice Rivers
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mermaids and selkies are not allowed to be together so, of course, Evian and Brendan have it in for them. But I didn’t foresee the complications that Brendan's seal skin brought him or the fact that everything would go downhill for the couple as the book neared the end…

I cannot choose – Brendan or Kyle? Or even Daniel for that matter? I think that I finally decided that I would have Daniel as my boyfriend because he seems like the most patient, loving and even tempered of the three of them, and
Jul 07, 2012 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
Sep 19, 2013 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
Feb 27, 2013 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. ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young adult, female
Shelves: yal
Eviana is a seventeen-year-old and the first born of her mother Mistress Dumahl, the clan leader. Which means she has certain privileges, but along with those privileges come responsibility, responsibilities that Eviana doesn't want to have to face. As her eighteenth birthday is nearing, so is the time that she should be married and start having children to ensure the future of their clans. In Eviana's case, this is one of the very last things that she wants to do, become a teenage bride and sta ...more
abby • thecourtofreading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
YA Reads Book Reviews
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nichole
Originally posted on, reviewed by Nichole.

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 husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ev
Quick and ok read

Honestly not sure how I feel about this book. In some aspects I really enjoyed it. Always love a female lead but this one definitely acted her age.
She’s 17 and forced into an arranged marriage when she’s expected to jump into politics and having babies. I get it. Back in the day getting married and having babies was what was expected. But you’d think they would’ve changed with the times. Had the mermaids going to college and rubbing shoulders with high rollers.
This book just foc
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I listened to the audible version of this story. It's the first story I have heard from this author and I liked it a lot. The characters were great, the storyline was an interesting one and there was never a dull moment. I finished this story in a day and I'm excited to listen to the next one. I have to say that when it comes to Brendan and Kain that I love them both. Eviana was determined in the beginning to what she felt was necessary for her and Brendan. She came off as strong and rebellious. ...more
Gabby Rockhill
I only got to page 65, so this isn't a fair review. But honestly, I'm bored. The characters fall flat (so far), the world building is an interesting concept but so far is poorly fleshed out, and I'm not the biggest fan of love triangles and this book seems to focus more on the love triangle than the fact that they are mermaids! You'd think doing a modern fantasy with mermaids and other water-based mythical creatures would be a bigger selling point than yet another YA love triangle.

I might pick
Samuel Fu
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I definitely thought this was a good book and loved reading every chapter. I’ve always been interested in the idea of mermaids as well as the different stories and legends that surround them. I thought this book had another great spin on where mermaids might have come from and how they could be living among us regular people. I really liked the character of Eviana, she just wanted to be free to make her own decisions, but I don’t think she really thought about what that freedom would cost her an ...more
Promises is book 1 in the Syrenka series.

I had mixed feelings about this book. There were moments where I actually enjoyed the book but I could not get myself to like any of the characters.
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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 The Second Rising ...more

Other books in the series

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

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