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Into the Gray

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  425 ratings  ·  116 reviews
"You're using me," I said.

"That might be true, but I also love you."

One is the Lady of the Waking Waters, an immortal mermaid. The other is a thief, who steals lives until a wish can be fulfilled, and a life-changing choice must be made.
ebook, 22 pages
Published April 25th 2018 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  425 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

“I know a better place than your room at the inn,” I said.

“If you’re not a working girl, there’s no shame to be seen with you.”

“I know a place, a better place, where the wind runs cool off the water. Where I can rinse, where you can rinse, where we’d taste our best for one another while only the deer of the forest look on.”

“You’ve done this before,” he said. He was hungry at my words, at the thought of watching me bathe.

I had. Twice before. He would be my third.

“So have you,” I said.

“What do I c
Elle (ellexamines)
This story is short fiction about a trans girl thief in love with a lady of the pond who kills men– but only the terrible ones.

First of all, the writing is excellent, absolutely engrossing. This story is super atmospheric, which helped a lot. And also, the lead character is written quite well; I found it super easy to empathize with her.

I will say I went into this expecting a romance, and it’s really… not? It’s more of a character arc & coming of age, but that element didn’t pop up till the en
may ➹
we love trans women dragging bad men to pools where their mermaid lovers are ready to kill them
NAT.orious reads ☾
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.75 absolutely enamoured STARS ★★★★✬
This book is for you if… the killer combination of an LGBTQ love, a deathly mermaid and the taking of revenge on evil men via said mermaid's teeth even holds the tiniest bit of your interest.

You know how I always say mermaids and the likes aren't for me? Consider me reformed. I mean, come onnn. What’s not to love about a trans girl leading evil men to their death by the ferocious teeth of her mermaid girlfriend? Precisely.

I'm usually not i
☀ Kat Nova ☀
A trans girl luring evil men to be killed by her hot mermaid girlfriend… Delicious.

I did not expect such a short story to intoxicate me like this. But here I am. Intoxicated. Drunk off this weird, atmospheric, gay fairytale.

”It’s always beautiful to watch someone perform their life’s work... the Lady, she was beautiful as she stripped flesh from bone."

(You can read this here) <3
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
A trans girl lures terrible men to their deaths by feeding them to her vicious mermaid girlfriend? Yes, please. This was fantastic and sweet and had some incredible bits about love and respecting ourselves, as well as a quote that I adored:
I know what it’s like to need to advertise to the world what you are, so that people don’t just assume you are what they think you are.

Available to read for free on!
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who love themselves a Dark fairytale
Recommended to jade by: a list of lgbtq+ recs from #ownvoices authors
“can i just stay here with you?” i asked. the moon had risen, a crescent scythe in the field of stars.

“of course not,” she said. “i live in the water, and it would be the death of you by drowning to join me.”

a dark but hauntingly beautiful take on the love between a mortal and a mermaid.

mermaids (alongside sirens) in mythology are known for luring unsuspecting men to their deaths. in this story, a thief lures evil men to the pond where her lover sleeps; the thief robs them of their valuables
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story of deadly mermaids, lovers and killing men. I mean, who doesn't want a beautiful fae fish lady who you can feed evil men to? I just really wanted this to be longer to explore more of the main characters backstory and how they came to be a thief and exile, and maybe understand a bit more of why they behaved the way they did. Great rep though. Give me all the non-binary rep.
rachel ☾
I did not see myself reading about a trans thief luring terrible men to be murder by their mermaid paramour today but choices were made and my day has been made all the better for it. rtc.
Tyler J Gray
Trans girl thief lures men, but only the bad ones, to her man eating mermaid girlfriend, who if you ask me doesn't really love her. Laria deserves so much better. The Lady (the mermaid) was so emotionless, so cruel in her lack of any emotion. The story made me want to cry. Love how it talks about obsession and respecting yourself.

I know what it’s like to need to advertise to the world what you are, so that people don’t just assume you are what they think you are.
Shelly Strange
This was really good! A beautiful trans girl lures men back to her lover who is a vicious mermaid. The land girl steals whatever gold or coins the men have to survive on and the mermaid eats her fill of flesh! A crazy, creepy romance! Quick and compelling read.

Free short:
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This short story definitely had some interesting and positive elements to it. I loved how representation was included and I think that the plot was quite original. I must say the ending wasn't my favourite part, I expected a little more from it. But other than that it was a quick and nice read.
I've recently read The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by this author and I didn't like it as much as I hoped (still a solid novella, though), but I loved this. Into the Gray is the story of Laria, trans woman in a medieval-like fantasy village who brings terrible men to the Lady of the Waking Waters - the immortal, man-eating mermaid who is Laria's lover. Also, Laria would want to become a mermaid, but magic like that always has a price.
There are witches, mermaids and magic, the writing is lovely,
Meagan ✊&#x1f3fc; Blacklivesmatter ✊&#x1f3fc;Blacktranslivesmatter
Will definitely be checking out more of this author's work!
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We’re not the same," she told me. "It’s not possible for us to lead the same life."

Beautiful trans thief falls madly in love with a mermaid, a hungry mermaid. With a love Laria understands is obsession they lead evil men to die in the Waking Waters.

"It’s always beautiful to watch someone perform their life’s work... the Lady, she was beautiful as she stripped flesh from bone."

Oh yeah!

But really, it’s about trying to find acceptance... in the wrong place.

This dark fantasy felt rushed and
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
3.5 stars, methinks.

We love a short story about a trans woman luring terrible men to the water so her lesbian mermaid girlfriend can eat them! I really enjoyed this, though- the ending was bittersweet but fitting and the writing style was really lovely. Also quite liked the fact that the mermaid was very clearly not a human being and therefore didn't think like one.

Some fave quotes:
○ "I didn’t ask his name, because I didn’t care to know it and because no one would ever call him it or anything el
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, lgbtq
I didn't know I needed this book until I read it.
Here we love trans women who lure men to their deaths for their lesbian lover.
I also adored the writing - it was beautifully poetic.
It's an amazing quick read!
4 🌟 Read here.

"I only led the worst of men down to the Waking Waters and death, down to my love in the pool below the falls. [...]

All so that the Lady of the Waters might love me.

Well, that and so I could rob their corpses."

Everyone needs in their lives a story about a trans bi woman leading awful men to her amoral lesbian mermaid girlfriend so she can have a snack before they bang. 👌👌


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Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english

not gonna lie, i was expecting another ending, but it’s okay. the things i liked the most were the writing and henrietta.
i hope i’m not the only one who thinks this book looks a lot like rihanna’s te amo.
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-rep
I only led the worst of men down to the Waking Waters and death, down to my love in the pool below the falls.

Into the Gray is a short story about a trans woman who leads terrible men to their deaths in the pool where her mermaid lover lives, while she steals their coins and gold. It is a story about love and obsession and finding yourself, a story about deciding how far you're willing to go for the one you love and how much you're willing to give up.

"You're using me," I said.

"That might be true
Ezgi Tülü
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
“Is that what you want?”
“I want to be with you,” I said. “However I can.”
“Then do it,” she said. Her eyes were still searching my face. “Be with me.”
Was there no passion in her voice because I didn’t know how to listen for it? Was there no passion in her voice because there was none in her heart? Or was there passion, deep passion, and my terror kept me from hearing it?
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-freebie
I like the twists and how the mermaid was a monster. 3 solid stars.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
As I had only one day in the month left I decided to read a short story. This is one of the short stories published on, which you can read for free (of you are interested).

I very much enjoyed this story! It’s basically a love story between a human and a mermaid. Into the Gray was fascinating and dark, I’m so happy that I decided to read it. I definitely want to pick up more from this author in the future!
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-s-books
*chef's kiss*

first of all: you can find it online and it's only twenty pages. and everyone should read that piece, this tells a story about a trans bi thief who lures awful men into the water so their immortal mermaid girlfriend can have a little snack time as she murder those men, i dont know if this sound amazing but this is amazing!
Ana ☾
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english, 2018
(Maybe 2.4?)

I was lied to. I was fooled. And now I'm sad.

So Laria is a transgender thief who likes girls, and more specifically, a siren, and that is hands down one of the best things I have ever heard about. But, despite all the hype of "trans thief that brings bad men to her girlfriend so she can kill them", the Siren is just using her and doesn't love her; and wanted Laria to give up her life to be with her, even though (again) she didn't love her to begin with. So I don't know why everyone
Really liked this! It is a shorter story but the prose is so beautiful and the characters really come to life in a short period of time. And who doesn't love a dark lesbian mermaid/thief story? I definitely plan on checking out one of this author's longer works now.
Rebecca Crunden
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I only led the foul men with filth on their tongues, the rich men who contrived to rule other men. I only led the men with hatred in their hearts and iron in their hands.

A quick, engrossing story about a thief, the mermaid she's in love with, and the men they lure to the water's edge.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
lgbt romance about a trans girl who brings men to a sea woman for them to die. very good!
Suzanne Rooyen
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm always frustrated by good short stories in that I want them to be novels!
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
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Margaret Killjoy is a transfeminine author and editor currently based in the Appalachian mountains. Her most recent book is an anarchist demon hunters novella called The Barrow Will Send What it May, published by She spends her time crafting and complaining about authoritarian power structures and she blogs at

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