After his father's untimely death, the new captain casts Lamark off the ship, leaving him in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Lamark is sure his life is over.
In a stroke of luck, Lamark encounters a merman, who saves him from drowning and brings him to a deserted island. Lamark quickly learns that on this mysterious island, not everything is as it seems, and danger lurks in every nook. This island may very well be the death of him.
Adventure, romance, and maybe some swashbuckling await Lamark, so long as he's not too lily-livered to venture into the deep...
Into the Deep is a 45k pirate fantasy adventure novel with a heavy helping of slapstick comedy and a sweet, steamy m/m romance.
Amara Lynn has always been a quiet daydreamer. Coming up with characters and worlds since childhood, Amara eventually found an outlet in writing. Amara loves anything to do with pirates, villains and superheroes, angels and demons.
They were born and raised in the Midwest USA, where they remain stuck with their spouse and two cats. They love to write about soft monsters and cryptids, grumpy enbies, and forever will be weak for the grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one trope. When not writing, they are usually watching anime, playing games, and obsessing over their out of control music playlists.
Into the Deep by Amara Lynn is a sweet and sexy romance about a pirate and a merman (oh my!). I’ve read countless LGBTQ+ romance books over the years, but this is my first read featuring a queer pirate. Into the Deep is a breath of fresh air, serving a beautiful MLM romance between a clumsy pirate named Lamark and the gorgeous merman (Yuvie) who saves his life.
The book features fun world-building with plenty of pirate slang and lovely scenic descriptions. Lynn immerses the reader in pirate living and they made me curious to learn more about merpeople mythology and lore.
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Into the Deep, by Amara Lynn ★★★☆☆ 146 Pages POV: 3rd person, single POV
DNF at 21%
Unfortunately, while I'm a fan of Lynn's Masks series, this one just didn't work for me. I did hesitate when I saw the mention of “slap-stick comedy” in the blurb, but I thought because I already know I like the author, it would be fine. That's my fault. I'm not good with “comedy” - because everyone else's comedy just isn't *my* kind of comedy.
Sadly, I think the problem lies in the comedy aspect, most of all. There are some niggled with the phrasing choices for me, clunky language that is more “story-telling” to the reader rather than letting them sink in and just experience the adventure.
Lamark is a pretty unremarkable character, to be honest. I felt for him, at first. But once he met Yuvie, it just started to fall apart, for me. The constant – and I mean CONSTANT – tripping over anything and everything in sight got tired very quickly. Maybe if it had been once every chapter, or a stumble, a trip, and a bumped head in each chapter, I could have lived with it, but it was ALL the time. At every turn, Lamark was tripping or falling, even when there was no logical reason. Coming from someone with severe nerve and balance issues, that's nuts. Not even I trip that much.
Sadly, I actually loved it until the whole saved by a merman part of the story. I can't even tell what changed, but I feel like the writing at first confident, sure of the plot, and well paced. I felt for Lamark, I felt that he was someone I could feel compassion for, someone I wanted to succeed. I was intrigued by the whole utterance by his dad of “I'd think you'd be a natural at this” and I was eager to continue.
BUT...something just went a bit wrong. Maybe it was the over-reliance on the comedy, maybe it was how long that part of the story took up, or maybe it was the slightly-annoying and overabundance of “Lamark!” and “Yuvie!” because they didn't know each other's languages. I'm not sure. What I do know is that the book was making me tired, grumpy and giving me a headache, and that's a sure sign that I need to stop or I'm going to start getting angry with the book.
The unbelievability of it all was too much. Somehow, Lamark survived drowning, being “rammed” by a wild pig, falling off a cliff, rolling down a hill multiple times, almost drowning again, and a trip into the ocean, under the surface...all without losing his father's hat. Hmm. I think not. And he survived all of that without doing much more than ripping his clothes on every branch in sight, not sustaining a single head wound, aching lungs, bruises, broken bones or...the most likely...death! That isn't someone who lost their luck. That is the luckiest mo-fo on the planet!
I'm pretty sure I know the big secret his dad didn't get to utter before he died. And I'm pretty sure I know how it's going to end, so...I'm afraid that's it for me. I won't be continuing this book, but I'm not giving up on the author. This one just wasn't for me. Masks is still a good series, and I'll be following it for a long time. But, this book wasn't my cup of tea.
Overall, I've given it 3 stars for potential. Because, it really did. I *could* have loved it. I just didn't. While it had BAGS of potential, and the plot could have gone a dozen different directions, I couldn't bring myself to read any more of Lamark tripping over and somehow surviving when he should have died a half dozen times already.
Full disclosure – I skipped ahead. I went from 21% to about halfway, stumbling across the whole sex scene, which was...interesting?...and then skipped ahead to a part late in the story where Lamark got a letter from his dad. I was intrigued enough to read about 2 pages, then skipped to the end to read the last few pages. It was exactly what I'd thought the major secrets were, so...yay to me?
More accurately it's 4.8 stars. I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review has been originally posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!
When nineteen-year-old Lamark, son of a successful pirate captain, witnesses his father’s death, he doesn’t know yet that his life will go helter-skelter. First, his late dad’s crew mutinies and leaves him in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Then, he saves a strange merman, entangled in a fishermen’s net, and both get stranded on a deserted island. As Lamark is very clumsy with his hands and feet, he doesn’t hold much hope that he might survive in this hostile environment. Luckily for him, not only does the young and dashing merman, Yuvie, help him to have some food (well, fish, mainly—duh!), but Lamark soon finds fruits and fresh water. And concomitantly, as you turn the pages, he also discovers he’s found… the treasure and love of his life.
This, in a nutshell, is the plot of the book. A nice and entertaining read with Lamark as its pleasant, endearing main character (by the way, don’t go looking for any female character—there are none). He might be described a bit too single-mindedly clumsy for my taste—the story of him stumbling over his own feet each time he tries to run away from danger gets a bit stale with the repetition, to be honest. Also, I understand that a merman wouldn’t talk our language at once, but as we get only two characters throughout a good part of the book, it sorely lacks nice dialogues. The two characters’ lovey-dovey-dopey-eyed exchanges are reduced to “Yuvie!”—“Lamark!”, which left me wanting after a while. But there were enough unexpected (sometimes a bit too sudden) twists and turns that made me turn the pages. Quite astounding, the amount of dangerous and legendary beings that populate such a small, deserted island! Had the author not found the satisfying explanation that they (they define as non-binary, hence this pronoun) present towards the end—a nice surprise indeed!—, I would have been frustrated.
Alright, some adventures felt far-fetched, but as we’re in a pirate story, they fit in—pirates are well-known for spinning some unbelievable yarn, and if you accept the presence of a cute merman, you’re willing to accept more of it. I was wondering right from the start how on earth Lamark would manage to, you know, do it (shag, that is) with his hard-on-inducing playmate, whose lower body is, well, fishy, after all. But here too, the author’s description stroke as well thought-of. And anyway, at the end, we find out that Lamark… and then, Yuvie… but I won’t tell you.
So, a nice read. The writing, though. Solid and straight-forward most of the time, but sometimes as clumsy as the main character. Sea-related similes galore (not always happily chosen), the odd cliché, some missing commas… And once again, thorough proof-reading and a thesaurus would have come in handy. Not so much for erasing spelling mistakes, even though there were some (“digged” instead of dug, for instance), but for finding out when and where to add hyphens and how to use convenient homonyms. It sometimes seemed the author was so pleased with a word they found that they decided they’d just throw it in throughout the following paragraphs. When you count ten “luck”s on one page, you can’t help but roll your eyes. All of these quibbles put together took off some of the reading pleasure. But all in all, though not the Book of the Year, “Into the Deep” was fun, and by the end, I was half in love with our merman-hottie myself, so I can recommend this book without qualms.
- it really bothers me how one sided the cultural/language exchange is for much of the book. I get how it's asking a lot to make up language for another species but it's a pretty common racist microaggression to have someone introduce a non anglo name and have the anglo person be like, "that's too hard, can I call you by this other thing instead?" -- we really do not need more normalization of this trope! more on why this is a fucked up thing to perpetrate here.
- a lot of loose ends that were probably meant to set up for a sequel. I kind of saw most of them coming but not all of them. I don't like that characters we are meant to sympathize with and forgive without apology in the end were people who were very abusive and cruel. there's no real criticism about the actual cruelty of these characters. it's just shucked off like it's no big deal simply because the protagonist wants to be around people who remind him of his dead dad or whatever. like, I'm unfortunately no stranger to this kind of grief where the people who lived are people who hurt you. maybe I'm an outlier, but have a fucking backbone for fucksake. don't just shrug off the cruelty that was done to someone else because you forgive what they did to you personally. fuck
- the tone of the story felt very much like a younger grade novel only there was sex. I don't know how to square that. I get the language barrier was a thing but it felt like the way that the characters were depicted was pretty childish. I don't know a lot in languages besides English, but I try to learn enough of other languages to do things like pronounce people's names in full and be able to ask them what some word means. this really didn't happen until the end of the book for the latter, and didn't happen at all for the former. I mean, I've had a lot of decent-length conversations with people with a pretty big language barrier just because we were determined to make conversation. it's a lot of gesturing, but there are ways to do it. charades and shit! sounds (when applicable), gesturing! they could have found ways to describe the sunset together, or describe the taste of the fish instead of just repeating the same words over and over again like a dog learning a new trick realizing they'll get treats if they do a certain thing. maybe I'm overreacting, but this felt so uncomfortable to me
- no lubrication?? really?? at least use saliva or something.
- the protagonist was clumsy to the point of unbelievability. I get that there's an explanation given eventually for it, but I think if it were me I would have at least come up with some guess as to why I was literally tripping every two feet. like, an inner ear problem or something. it's more of a disability thing than a luck thing that this sort of thing may happen imo. like maybe use a mobility aid?? he's just gone pretty far through life to have not questioned it at all.
- again, loose ends. I'd be down to read another one because there's some interesting world building and I want the story to be resolved. I don't have a high bar, I just want to know what happens.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This was an adorable read. I have to wonder if the author didn't create Lamark just so they could take their frustrations out on the poor, accident prone boy. Even if they did, this story is a sweet, heartrendingly kind novella that I would recommend to anyone looking for action, adventure, (somewhat inept) pirates, and all the feels.
This is not the first time I have experienced this book. I was fortunate enough to read it when it first came out, but when I saw that it was going to be available on audiobook, I knew I had to dive back into this world of pirates and adventures that the author had created. getting to experience this work again, in this format, really opened up the setting and the events for me. The narrator was amazing, and I felt so immersed in the story that it was hard to take breaks for silly real life things like work.
Overall, a great listen! I would highly recommend.
This was an adorable read. Honestly. I mean, I have to wonder if the author didn't create Lamark just so they could take their frustrations out on the poor, accident prone boy. Even if they did, this story is a sweet, heartrendingly kind novella that I would recommend to anyone looking for action, adventure, (somewhat inept) pirates, and all the feels.
Loved the mix of adventure story and romance in this book! The characters stole my heart immediately. Who doesn’t love a clumsy pirate and a gorgeous mer cinnamon roll? I read this all in one sitting and had to re-read, there were so many hilarious and adorable (and steamy) moments! Very fun.
The heart of it is there, the romance is really sweet but the plot needs some work for me. I feel like everything got wrapped up in a nice little bow but like, the actually glaring problems were just ignored.
The writing itself also felt pretty weak to me. There was no problem with grammar or typing, it was more a skill level issue. Defiantly needed some more foundation work.
❗️This may be a little spoiler-y so tread carefully:❗️ Imma be so for real rn - if you kidnapped my boyfriend, injured him, and put him in a bucket in a prison cell… I’m not gonna forgive you. Like, honestly I could roll with just about everything but I don’t think Lamark should have been so chummy with the people who traumatized his boyfriend. Ya know?
DNF 15% This should have been right up my alley (merpeople, pirates, gays, murder), but the pace was so slow moving that I took two breaks before giving up not even a quarter into a fairly short book. Also, the MC was unsympathetic and unlikeable (seemed like a preteen, not someone nearly 20), the twists are obvious (won’t state here just in case that would ruin it for someone else), the cliche “I hear something, oh it’s a cute ____, oh no now a scary thing is here” just sealed it for me that this isn’t for me and I can’t force myself to continue any longer.
His luck has not been good and he finds himself in a small boat after the captain kicked him off the ship. He thinks he will die when a mermaid helps him to a remote island. Has his luck changed? Is it too good to be teue? Will the island be the death of him? See how he gets on
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
I liked the story, but by the last few chapters it felt like the author just wanted the story over with and added whatever they could to get it done. I had been getting lost in the story, and then suddenly there was stuff going on that didn't fit with the rest of the story line.
Amara! This was such sweet read! I need a book 2 for sure! I fell in love with Lamark and Yuvie quickly! Lamark just a sweet guy and Yuvie just the sweetest little merman! I need more pirates and merfolk!
Ahh, I absolutely loved this book! It wasn't too long nor too short, I believe the length of it was just right for a quick read like I was wanting. Though I will say that I wish the ending was a bit longer and answered more of the questions that I had. I was so engulfed in the story by this point that I was surprised when I reached the ending! I was a little unsure of the main character and story as I got a few chapters in, but by the midpoint it had all grown on me and I could hardly put it down. I read through the rest rather quickly. It's a good read if you're looking for a quick adventure with some MLM romance. Any problems that I have with the story are nitpicks, so overall it was a fun read that I highly enjoyed.
3.5* Amara takes us on a chaotic, cozy, quick burn romance adventure. This was a quick read that felt like a how I met your father novella. I would love to see more in this world and our author sets up for sequels or other short stories with the info reveal near the end of the book.
Following Amara Lynn on Twitter, I knew Into the Deep was coming for awhile before it was released. I enjoyed all the cute snippets and rushed to get my copy when it finally came out. This is my third Amara Lynn fiction, and I enjoyed how different it was from the Masks novellas and short story. The cute was dialed up to 11!
In the Golden Age of Piracy, Lamark is the son of a successful pirate captain and set to inherit his father's ship. That would be great except (1) Lamark is the worst pirate ever and (2) upon the captain's death, the crew mutinies and dumps Lamark on a dingy. As he floats about, waiting to starve, he encounters a trapped merman, and, in thanks for saving him, the merman leads Lamark to an enchanted, deserted island. The merman calls himself Yuvie and...well, this is a romance novella. You can figure out the rest.
This novella's adorableness is out of this world. Is it trope-y and the plot predictable? Yes. Is that exactly what I wanted reading this work? Also yes. I went in looking for a good ol' gay nautical time and I got it. Lamark and Yuvie are instantly lovable characters and it was a joy to witness them fall in love. Lamark's clumsiness did seem a little exaggerated at points, but it didn't distract too much from reading. The pacing was also on point, hitting beats like nobody's business. At its best, Into the Deep is a simple, tender love story between a pirate and merman, with a happy ending.
In fact, I think Into the Deep is at its weakest towards the ending, where it deviates from the predictable path. About 85% of the way through the novella, new characters, complications, and twists come out of the woodwork seemingly at random. I'd almost says they're deux ex machinas, but they rather raise more questions than provide answers. Maybe some of it is preparing for a sequel? Though I wasn't overly concerned about nautical accuracy, there's a big glaring one that's never addressed. I made a lot of "wtf really?" faces.
Overall though, Into the Deep is a cute gay pirate-merman novella. I definitely recommend it to Tall Ships era romance fans who want to treat themselves to some fluff.
I think the biggest issue was this novella didn't have a clear purpose; it wasn't really a pirate book as it mostly takes place on a Castaway island situation, it wasn't really an island survival story with intense island survival things, it wasn't really a human-mer relationship story because a lot of the communicating gets hand waved (I can accept some handwaving in my human-mer stories, but the fact that it's very clear they can barely communicate about food but have enough of a connection to consent to sex just but looks and actions??).
I enjoyed Amara Lynn's Mask series quite a bit so I was quick to request an ARC in exchange for a review, which I received.
This is a fun romance that is a good, light read. I didn't enjoy it *as much* as I enjoyed Masks but that is mainly due to the language barrier of the two protagonists. I struggle a lot with that as a concept and it made me not relate or root for the couple in the same way i would have if they could have talked the same language.
Lamark was a great protagonist and I enjoyed how incredibly awkward and clumsy he was and his scorching bad luck. Yuvie was a great character as well, but I had hoped to see more language development from him. The pirate's were over the top but I expected as much for the comedic elements. There is good character development and Lamark goes through a lot of trials coming into himself after his father's death (it's the opening scene so not a real spoiler). I recommend this to anyone looking for a steamy fast read.
Conceptually fun, I had a hard time really connecting with the main characters despite the fact that they were both very sweet. Lamark felt really immature and never quite grew up, Yuvie was too childlike for me to be able to get behind any romance involving him, and while marooned on an island isn't exactly going to open up a huge amount of options for the poor guy, I found the plotline a bit thin and very suddenly developed out of seemingly nowhere. The book ending had some revelations that really imply a follow-up/sequel, but as far as I know this is a standalone, so that was a bit confusing.
The relationship itself was cute, very affectionate, and I am always into human/monster romances, and if you like the type of swashbuckling pirates that have more fun and less scurvy, I think you'll really like this book! It was an easy read, approachable language and a happily ever after for a character who sorely deserved it.
Lemark is a young man whose father is a pirate captain of a ship. When he dies, tries to take command of the ship. Unfortunately, Lemark has been prone to misfortune his whole life. He attempts to fight, but gets put out to sea by the first mate. He drifts and finds himself on a deserted island (or so he believes) He finds a merman, Yuvie who he seems to have an instant connection with despite their lack of a common language. As he tries to navigate the island in hopes of survival, strange things begin to happen and he finds himself falling in love with Yuvie. Soon, there's more pirates and talk of treasure along with some letters from his father that explain his life. Lemark and Yuvie have their HEA after some hard fought battles. I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this author.
This was a cute adventure love story. Poor Lamark had the worst luck but it played well into the storyline. This was an easy and fast read and while there were a couple things I wanted more explanation or closure on, I was happy with the storyline. Yuvie was super endearing with his enthusiasm, and I wish we could have gotten his POV just because I think it would have been super fun. I wish that Lamark could have gotten revenge on a few pirates but he also was a sweet character and I am not sure it would have fit in with his personality. There were some sad moments, especially regarding Lamark's father but it gave more depth to his character. Overall I enjoyed this story and really liked the way it ended!
ARC courtesy of the author and Bayou Book Junkie; a review was not a requirement.
I got an advance copy of this book from the author. The pacing is a bit jumpy and I think this book could have benefited from having some parts more fleshed out, but the story is cute and it's a quick read with some funny elements. If you're looking for something not too stressful to read, I would say that you will probably like this book.