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Waking the Merrow

(The Merrow Trilogy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  58 reviews
In 1772, angry Rhode Island colonists set fire to a British ship, sparking the American Revolution. Taxation without representation was a motivator. So was the vengeful, man-eating mermaid who had it out for the commanding officer.

That was then. This is now.

Mermaids, or merrow, still hunt in Narragansett Bay, but these days they keep a lower profile. At night, centuries-
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 9th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published May 22nd 2014)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  199 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"They were the wide eyes of her aquatic cousins, unmistakable with the unnaturally large eye-sockets and light-colored irises. He was a merrow."

Different and did not disappoint! Welcome to world of Irish folklore, of Merfolk with teeth, long memories, clans, and varied diets. All told from the slightly meta point of view of a functioning alcoholic.

My TBR is a functioning Jenga Tower but this series has become a must read.

All tail Merfolk May!
Penny Watson
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fearless-fiction
Let me just get this right out there from the get-go.

This is without a doubt the coolest debut novel I've ever read.

Heather Rigney, who the hell are you? And where did you come from?

WAKING THE MERROW is a cross-genre, horrifying twist on the mermaid legend. Rigney has seamlessly woven a story that combines horror, comedy, colonial history, fantasy world-building, flawless writing, and the most unappealing yet strangely mesmerizing "heroine" I've ever read. Evie is a short, fat, self-loathing alc
Kelly Kittel
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book and read it in two or three nights. In fact, I stayed up way too late last night to finish it and am thankful we have a snow day today to recover! The setting is right here in my back yard in the waters in which I swim where evil mermaids, aka merrow, are wreaking havoc on the protagonist and her family as, it turns out, they've been doing for centuries. Being part fish, myself, I've always loved tails of the sea and of selkies and the like so I loved the folklore and the premi ...more
John Brownstone
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We have all heard tales of mermaids, the mythical creatures of great beauty that are half human, half fish that have entranced seafarers and children alike for centuries.
Forget all those tales of those beings that have such beauty and grace

What if by being half human the mer-folk also had some of the worst traits of humanity. Vicious evil creatures that prey upon humanity with impunity. Heather Rigney has woven just such a tale. In the essence of Stephen King and Clive Barker who are Ms. Rigney
Nicole R
Waking the Merrow is my IRL book club selection for this month. Prior to it being nominated, I had never heard of the book or the author. A little background research showed that the author is a Rhode Island native who lives just down the way from me -- which I love -- but what really got me was the teaser from B&N Book Blog:

“You know what’s great about Rigney’s horror-ific (that’s horror-filled and terrific), hysterical debut novel? Besides the bloodthirsty merfolk, our antihero protagonist
S.K. Munt
Bloody Brilliant. Really VERY bloody and really very brilliant!

I can't imagine anyone not liking this novel. It's one of those things where I see a one star review and am truly shocked. I cannot think of a demographic this wouldn't appeal to or anyone who I wouldn't recommend this to. It's as though Ms Rigney has opened a window and let in a much-needed gust of salty sea air into a shipwrecked genre.

Whatever you're expecting from a book with a mermaid tail on the cover well, this isn't it and th
Suzy Turner
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW... I mean, seriously WOW. I could not put this book down – even though at times it:
1. scared the living daylights out of me
2. has probably made me even more ocean-phobic (and swimming pool phobic, for that matter) than I already am
3. made me cry
4. made me laugh out loud
5. almost made me wet my pants (through both fear and laughter)
I just loved the fact that the lead character was so flawed - overweight with a bit of a drink problem and speaks the kind of language that makes the air turn blu
Mermaids are sexy in this book, but they aren't lovable. Wow! Fierce, vicious, dangerous and corrupted. This feels like a folklore novel. It is set partially in Ireland and also in Rhode Island. The story vacillates between multiple timelines but is not overly confusing or jarring in its shifts.

I reveled in the freshness of the perspective and language and our heroine, Evelyn/Evie. I enjoyed her take on motherhood, mommy friendships, extended family, drinking and marriage. She was unpredictable,
Sophie Carter
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It was such a fun summer read.

At first, I absolutely loathed Evie, the main character. She has problems with alcohol and she's terribly sarcastic. But as the story went on, I found myself rooting for her more and more until I was literally in tears because I was positive that she was going to die.

This book takes place (mostly) in Pawtuxet Village, where I spend almost every day of my life. Since it's such a tiny little place, it's not really talked about in any Rhode Island h
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 Stars* I originally read this in 2015, but reread it before the release of Hunting the Merrow (Merrow Trilogy, #2).

What the actual f*#ck did I just read?

From the shores of Ireland and colonial New England, Waking the Merrow is a modern retelling of a legendary subject with a deliciously evil and mythical twist.

This ain’t no Disney mermaid tale.

Heather Rigney spins an intelligently written tale, about legendary merfolk tail, seamlessly woven with threads of many genres.

This book is histori
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was really hard to put down. It was cool to see mermaids in a different light. It's kinda graphic so not for the faint of heart. You also find out the background behind the merrow and there is more than one group.
Tiffany Holme
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, from-author
Dark & Different...

I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. I did not read the synopsis, nor did I judge it by its cover (although I really like the cover). What I did know is that it came highly recommended. What I got was one hell of a shock when I started reading. There is Mermaids and lore woven into this read, but it is not primarily a mermaid book. The author took this unique and amusing idea and twisted into a story that I found myself with odds with at
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Let me preface this review by saying that I befriended the author, Heather Rigney,whilst I was reading Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box. I probably (read: I know I did) complained how my I was not liking it. Heather was just starting to read it as well, and it resulted in an ad-hoc buddy read cum support system. We supported each other through Heart-Shaped Box as we bitched and moaned (I bitched, Rigney moaned)about Hill and his cliches, poor characterization, and razor thin plotting. So ...more
K.C. Wilder
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Heather Rigney’s debut novel, Waking the Merrow - adapted from her short story “Mermaids Are Not Nice” - impressed the hell out of me from the very first sentence to the last.

Evie McFagan is just the kind of heroine I love. She’s a pudgy, unattractive and friendless funeral director steeped in alcohol and the lies she tells her acquaintances at the local bar. Utterly unreliable, she has trouble finding allies who’ll believe that her daughter has been an evil, man-eating mermaid.

Mia Darien
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
(This actually got a 4.5 on my site.)

This book contains several of my favorite things: monster lit, the ocean, a choice of monster that’s not like every other book or movie out there, mythology, Gaelic/Celtic stuff, and New England.

This book had a lot going for it for me.

Evie is quite the snarktastic narrator. Oftentimes in the beginning, she comes close to overdoing the snark (for my taste) but doesn’t actually cross the line. She’s a very flawed character, but still endearing in her way. She a
Kaylin Beach
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would anyone believe you if you had a well known drinking problem and claimed to be seeing mythical creatures? No one believed Evie.

Strange things start happening to Evie when a mysterious woman shows up in the village. Evie has no idea who this woman is and how much damage she will soon cause. What will Evie have to do to keep her family safe?

Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney is full of Lies, death, mysteries, disappearances, secrets, love, family, and loyalty. Once you pick this book up, you
Liz Malloy
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Waking the Merrow is a fantastic historical thriller! The burning of the Gaspee is a little known historical nugget from the origins of the American Revolution - and this book gives all the history interlaced with a great evil mermaid tale. The characters in the novel each have a distinct and very palpable personality. Evie, the protagonist, becomes like a good friend while you read. She's the friend you can't wait to talk to because she always has a story - usually barely believable, often harr ...more
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that makes you thank God for the explosion of indie publishing. If you feel like you’ve read the same mass-market paperback forty times over the past eighteen months and are ready for something that will shake up your reader’s expectations, you might like:

--a protagonist who’s a lousy mom (and knows she’s a lousy mom, and doesn’t want to be a lousy mom)
--a mermaid who isn’t a hair-conditioner-model damsel in distress
--flashbacks to little-known events in American histo
Tabitha Lord
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was eager to read this book by fellow RI writer Heather Rigney and was not disappointed. Loved her imperfect, snarky main character, Evie. Loved the relationship between Evie and her lumbering Irish husband, Paddy. Loved that it got bloody enough to be a "dark" fantasy. Heather seamlessly weaves folklore and history into a fascinating, sometimes violent, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny tale featuring Merrow, their land-dwelling cousins, and a few seemingly regular humans. This book is the first ...more
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With todays Disneized version of meremaids we often forget they were once scary and evil. Waking the Merrow reminds you of why you don't take a step first before knowing what you are dealing with. Evie isn't what you'd expect in a heroine, but she is real and you can feel her pain. Who hasn't been able to live up to someone else expectations. Evie is all heart if not lost in her own demons. In the end she is able to stand up to the evil that is preying on her family. Will she survive until the e ...more
Kristen Mcdonough
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Let's just say that I was more than a bit skeptical when my sister gave me a book to read and told me (this is my own summation of the conversation) it's about a savage, bloodthirsty mermaid and that I would love it. However, I loved it, I could barely put it down, and I'm now anxiously awaiting the release of the second book in the trilogy. Waking the Merrow was a little dark and very suspenseful and I totally devoured it!!!
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by a friend I would like to tell my friend Lisa.....THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I loved this book, the characters are incredible. Loved Evie from the start...her total honesty of her thoughts and words . This book is not for the light does have some gory parts to it. The book has so many loose ends I cannot wait until the second comes out!! If you like horror/fiction/mythological creatures....A MUST READ! Happy Reading :)
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Loved all the references to Narragansett Bay, and I'm a real sucker for anything outside the everyday box. This was a quick read ,grabbed your attention fast. The character development for me needed some work, as I had a real hard time liking any of the characters. Found myself changing plots and dialogue. I believe this author will develop nicely.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this, read in a day and couldn't put it down.

Evie the unlikely hero made me laugh throughout the book, not that I agreed or couldn't relate to her behaviors early in the book.

The story was unusual and held my interest throughout. I will be recommending this to anyone and everyone

Thanks for the read!
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap this book was AWESOME! I wasn't really sure what to expect but I was never disappointed. Heart pounding moments. Creep out moments. Throw in some laugh out loud moments. I can't wait to read book two!
Faye Irvine
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

Lots of history in the beginning, but it helps to tie the whole story together at the end. Erie is real relatable with her emotions... you'll cry along with her. Can't wait for book 2.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Well written story about a very nasty merrow (mermaid) living in Narragansett Bay. I must say this book gave me a nervous creepy feeling when I read it at night considering how close I live to the bay. I look forward to reading the next installment.
Christine DePetrillo
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A haunting tale soaked with personality, history, and imagination. I'll think twice before dipping my toes into Narragansett Bay. Rigney has a unique voice and style meant to entertain on a whole new sea-salted level. I give this book 5 seashells and a bonus clam cake.
Joseph Mazzenga
Dark fantasy with true to life historical data to make the scenes come alive....
Louise Jakobson
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mermaids as you have never seen or imagined them before! Good story and good characters. Looking forward to the next one.
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Play Book Tag: Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney -- 4 stars 5 13 Oct 09, 2016 02:53PM  
Supernatural Frea...: Ramble As You Read: Waking the Merrow 12 7 Jun 02, 2015 05:11AM  

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Writer, artist, and underwater fire-breather, Heather Rigney likes to make stuff. Stuff with words, stuff with paint, stuff that's pretty, and stuff that's not. Heather's stories reflect a dark, gothic childhood spent in the woods of northern Rhode Island. At the moment, she resides in Pawtuxet Village, RI with a family (both chosen and created) that she adores.

Waking the Merrow (release date: Jun

Other books in the series

The Merrow Trilogy (3 books)
  • Hunting the Merrow
  • Caging The Merrow (The Merrow Trilogy, #3)
“Naked, tattooed men meandered around, lit torches, congregated in groups, spoke in hushed voices. It was like pictures I had seen on the internet of Comic Con, except no one was wearing a cape. And there were no females. So, yes, it was just like Comic Con.” 2 likes
“She’s a wicked thing. Her mother should have drowned her the day she was born.” I was about to question the likelihood of a drowned merrow, then thought better of it.” 1 likes
More quotes…