I would like to thank the author for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
One of the first things that really caught me off guard with this book was the way I started feeling nostalgic while reading it. I felt like I was back to my teenage days, in my bedroom, the window open with a slight breeze coming through as I laid across my bed reading about mermaids and mermen. I forgot just how much I loved the stories of the sea and the mermaids seducing and picking off the sailors. Bringing back that feeling was amazing on many levels and I even mentioned it to a couple of my coworkers.
Meela is written strongly, both as a 10 year old with a secret but deadly friendship, with a young mermaid, and as an 18 year old, coming into her own as an adult, a woman and a uncertain warrior. The story evolves from a girl who doesn't see black and white, but the colors in between, in people and creatures. She is very trusting of what she doesn't really understand. This trust is betrayed and the author gives us the insight to see how that impacted Meela and sculpted her in the years to come and to the point she becomes part of the team that goes out to seek revenge against the mermaids.
The author lets us in to Meela's head, lets us know how she ticks and lets us understand her compassion with the mermaids. We feel the betrayal, like a slap in the face. We feel the fear, the anger, the indecision's, everything that makes up Meela as a child and as an adult. She is bullied by the same girl for years and in a way it creates a certain armor for her. As an adult, she is able to understand better the things she learned from the mermaid of her youth and in many ways it works to her advantage.
With this story, you learn about the island that Meela and the villagers live. The hardships brought on by the constant killings of fisherman and such, but the mermaids. Women becoming widows at a young age. The fear of the sea and the beaches while being surrounded by such, because they are on an island. You also learn the plight of the mermaids.
A very well written book, it grabbed my interest quickly and took me along for the ride. When I wasn't reading, I found myself thinking about the story and the characters, wondering what was going to happen and how Meela was going to get through it all. By the time you get to the end, you will be wishing the next book was out. Now, this book isn't all about the interaction of Meela and the mermaids, but also about a war that is being waged between humans and creatures of the sea. There is graphic violence involved, so consider yourself warned.