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Walking on Knives

2.71  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she's being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch's sister is falling in love with her.

When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid's secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…

Walking on
Published July 26th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
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Maya Chhabra A prompt for an anthology about magic shoes. It occurred to me that the Little Mermaid could really have done with such shoes, given the pain she was …moreA prompt for an anthology about magic shoes. It occurred to me that the Little Mermaid could really have done with such shoes, given the pain she was in. And it spiraled out from there.(less)

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This novelette (11,500 words) is an interesting approach to Andersen's well known fairy tale about the little mermaid and her romantic sacrifice. The story is both cruel and beautiful, just like the original one. The author is nicely poetic with words, but unfortunately also often confusing, which reduced my enjoyment of the story. The author apparently wanted to stay close to storytelling in the old fashioned way, but for that reason the story lost in its clarity. Regardless of that, it held my ...more
I received an ARC via netgalley but all opinions are my own.

(book #3 in my pride month challenge)

Um. I'm not sure what to think of this short book. In some ways I recognize it was beautiful and the writing is very unique and...not necessarily lyrical, but not very linear either. While that's something I like sometimes, I didn't particularly love it here. We just didn't click, and that was my main issue with it.

The plot is basically your little mermaid retelling with a FF romance, but it's honest
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This jumped about a bit too much for me. You had to really concentrate to jump with the characters and you had to figure out yourself a little who was who, especially with some of the female characters.
I enjoyed the ending, and I enjoyed the character development of the Mermaid herself.
But overall, this just felt a little lacklustre and too haphazardly arranged.
Lexxi Kitty
*I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Less Than Three Press in exchange for an honest review.*

I actually read this a short time ago, I think on the 9th of June. But had been putting off marking the read since the story itself won't be out until the end of July. A review will appear here closer to June 26th (month before publication).

This story here, like another recently read short story released through Less than Three Press, is a Fairy Tale Retelling. The Little Mermaid was origin
Xan West
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: major-tw
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The writing in Walking on Knives feels very fairy tale-like. It’s much more plot driven than character driven, and quite haunting, in many ways. (As is the original it draws from, which is much more full of despair and rage than the Disney film.) There is some very evocative imagery. It feels as if it’s told from far away, which suits the genre. This is emphasized by the fact that characters do not have names,
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Seriously, what did I just read?
I'm super confused.

First I didn't know it would be so short - my bad - and I truly think it would have been a much more better story if it had been a novel. This story had a lot of potential, but because it was only a novelette, it felt rushed.

It pains me to say so, but the story made no sense. The way it was written made everything a thousand time more confusing. I kinda liked the ending, but that's all.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me an e-arc in exchange fo
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received an eArc of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

CW: Rape, dubious consent.

So. I think this is my first one starred book in a long time, I just… didn’t find anything redeemable about it. Every aspect was lacking. The plot, the world, the characters. I couldn’t find anything to hold on to and the only reason I finished it is how short it is. Don’t get me wrong, the premise is inte
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
06-28-17: thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this! As an fairy-tale afficicianado, I always look forward to new versions/revamps/reimagingings or twists on classic fairy-tales. Very much looking forward to digging into this!!

Post-Read; Once I started this, I just couldn't stop reading. The lyrical prose is absolutely haunting in it's obliqueness, and this book just buzzes with unrequited longing on all fronts. More importantly, like the source material, it illustrates both blinding beauty and un
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
This was a much more enjoyable version of the Little Mermaid fairy tale than Disney ever had hopes of portraying. LM is another old-school fairy tale that wasn’t about princesses and love and roses and happily ever afters, like Disney made it. The original was much darker and had a much clearer message. I feel like this reimaging did more with that original message and I really enjoyed it. The story was very short and focused more on the Sea Witch (Ursula) and her sister than it did the prince a ...more
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
This was... unpleasant. The writing was nice but other than that I couldn't really feel like there was anyone really in love with each other... The rape at the beginning and the dubious consent also soured my enjoyment of the novel, despite already having been warned about it. ...more
Ceillie Simkiss
TW: rape, warned for before story starts, as well as questionably consensual sex near the end.

This novella was interesting. It is a f/f twist on the little mermaid, with two sea witches, which was neat. There was some great writing shown, but I think this story suffered because of how short it was.

One thing that bothered me was the way sex and physical touch was used as a bargaining piece in this novel, without any other option or discussion of the bargain. I really wish it had been explored mor
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Probably more like a 2.5*

I requested this from netgalley not realising it was a novelette (I thought it was novella length or a short novel) so this is a case of me expecting something very different than I got. I felt it was really too short to develop the tale or the characters adequately. The third person narration and refusal to name the characters beyond mere titles like 'the sea witch' or 'the little mermaid' which was intended to give it a fairytale feel only made me feel detached from th
Avery (Book Deviant)
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

I would like to thank the people at Less Than Three Press for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

When you open up Walking on Knives on Goodreads, you might notice that at the bottom of the summary, it says: "Walking on Knives contains some explicit content and a scene with dubious sexual consent." What may catch your interest there, if you're like me, is the last part. "Dubious sexual consent". And, again, if you're like me, yo
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received an ARC of Walking on Knives through NetGalley. I chose to request this book because the little mermaid is one of my favourite fairytales and I loved the addition of the witch’s sister.

This book is #ownvoices for bisexual representation.


I want to start this review by saying that there was a rape scene in this book, so if this is a problem for you, please don’t continue reading, as I will be discussing this.

This book
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Received to review via Netgalley; publication date is 26th July 2017

When the warning says “Walking on Knives contains some explicit content and a scene with dubious sexual consent”, it’s not kidding. I know there’s a whole debate about whether you can say consent is “dubious”, but I think I see why in this case — in both cases the characters explicitly consent, in pursuit of a goal, without actually wanting the sex itself.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure I buy any of the emotions here. It has the pot
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an odd one, and it came out nothing like I expected. I think I, like a lot of reviewers, have spent too much time with the Disney version. This particularly reminded me of a short film adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen version that I used to love as a child, which is not markedly different from the Disney film except in tone, and with a different ending and with fewer singing animals.
Cam (justabookeater)
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to love this a lot more than I actually did. It started out strong but the story got a bit mixed up in the middle and it was all around difficult for me to feel attached to any of the characters. I did enjoy that it was a retelling of the Little Mermaid with an f/f pairing and the dark side of the story as its focal point.

Of course, its a novelette so I couldn't have asked for more but I still wanted
oof, this was rough.

i have to say, i expected more from f/f little mermaid retelling.

this short story reads like a highschooler's homework project. don't get me wrong, i mean no offense and i don't actually know how old the author is but this whole story is just so... amateurish. it reads like a (very) rough first draft or a concept for a longer book.

nothing really works- not the characters, setting, romance, plot, etc. it's too short to produce any remarkable characters or world and the writin
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
*I received an ARC of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

This was unfortunately disappointing. Maybe if it had been a longer story, I would've enjoyed it more, but as it was I didn't like it. The writing was pretty at times and I liked the style. I also have to say that the cover is absolutely beautiful. I was intrigued by the little mermaid retelling, but I just didn't enjoy how the story was executed.

The mermaid "selling her body" for what she w
Roshnara Mohamed
Nov 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite fairy tales. Not the watered down kid friendly version that Disney has popularized, but the original, dark tale where the prince chooses another woman, and the little mermaid dissolves into sea foam. So when I came across this book, which is a retelling with an original twist, in the form of a new character, I was intrigued.
The idea is interesting - the sea witch's sister falls in love with the mermaid and tries to save her from her inevitable doom. The
Sara Jovanovic
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Honestly, this was a mess. It lacked structure and generally was all over the place. I liked the idea of the story but the way it was written didn't resonate with me. Probably the only good thing here is that this has around 40 pages. ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an interesting twist on The Little Mermaid! I was unsure what to expect but I am glad I dipped my toes into this imaginative adventure! It meaningfully reflects the deals that we all make.
Megan  (thebookishtwins)
I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley

Walking on Knives is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. It isn’t anything like the Disney version – it was dark, cruel and brutal at times. I do feel like readers need to be aware that there were some scenes with dubious sexual consent, so proceed with caution.

Walking on Knives ended strongly, but it did lose its way in the middle a bit and I felt the plot was confusing and messy at times. However, it was an original take on a classic fairytal
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC through NetGalley.

To say that I was excited for Walking on Knives would be an understatement. I mean, F/F retelling of The Little Mermaid where she winds up with the seawitch's sister?! Yes, please! Unfortunately, this short story did not work for me at all. As we already know, our unnamed little mermaid is in love with the unnamed prince and wants to be human to be with him and earn a soul. The seawitch grants her legs but every step is agony and she takes her voice as payment
Jun 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
I found this confusing and upsetting. At no point did I get a feeling that anyone was truly in love. People just decided it without even meeting the other person. It starts with a rape scene and it doesn't get better; there's another one that, although consensual, only takes place to save the life of a character and is traumatic for both of them. I was excited because I've loved some f/f short retellings from Less than three but this made me feel awful. ...more
Jamie Coudeville
I've been interested in this book since I first heard about it so my expectations were high. Did I like it? Yes. HOWEVER, it was way too short. 32 pages are just not enough. I needed everything to move a bit slower, be more developed. It just felt rushed at times. Despite already knowing how it ends, I would totally read a longer version of this if the writer ever wrote one.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
A novelette about the Little Mermaid and the Sea Witch's sister, and their tragic, sweet romance.

The twist on this classic genuinely surprised me and engaged me. Unfortunately, and maybe it's because of the timelessness of Hans Christian Anderson's original storytelling, I was overall more interested in the changed dynamic between the Mermaid and the Prince. The original premise and build-up for their relationship was retained, so all of the readers' original investment is, too. The scene that a
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Jul 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is more like a long blog post than even a short novel so you could read through it at a stop light although I don’t advocate trying to read in the car unless you’re a passenger. It’s definitely a different approach to the Little Mermaid tale which seems to be making a resurgence in popularity lately. The author didn’t seem to want you to connect to the characters because they were kept very impersonal and one dimensional. I guess they figured you’d transfer your feel good emotions from Disn ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Full Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for sharing my honest review. Said honest review is what follows.

“Walking on Knives”, a re imagining of The Little Mermaid, is a short story, clocking in at just under 12,000 words (about 30 pages). In Chhabra’s retelling, the sea witch has a sister, who is never given a name but becomes infatuated with the mermaid and intervenes in an attempt to save her from becoming sea foam when the prince decides to marry another.

I may not be tot
C. Erani Kole
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
*voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from NetGalley*

As an avid reader, I was a bit turned off by how short and choppy all the scenes were, but when I saw that the author did poetry, I took another look at the story in a different light, and could see it being a weird combo of story-telling and poetry. A few things were personally off to me, though. If it was going to be poetic, with beautiful lines and detail, it often broke that and took on the tone of a narrator, so it was lik
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I'm Maya Chhabra, author of Stranger on the Home Front, an #ownvoices historical middle grade novel about Punjabi immigration and WWI.

You can read my short fiction at Cast of Wonders, Anathema, Daily Science Fiction, and in the anthology 20,000 Leauges Remembered.

My poetry has appeared at Strange Horizons, among many other venues.

My translation of Tsvetaeva's Fortune is available in Cardinal Point

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