This is another one of those books I decided to give a try with my Kindle Unlimited. It’s a fantasy story (obviously) but I don’t generally read things with mermaids. There have been only a few mermaid tales that I’ve found interesting, the creatures aren’t that interesting to me outside of their mythological origins with the Siren’s in Homer’s Odyssey. There is a book called Sirena that fits into that mythological mold a bit I read a long time ago but this isn’t about that. This story was written for NaNoWriMo which is when certain authors decide to write a whole book in just a month. I’ve never been able to do it and I don’t know how much I trust the process to create really amazing books. Unless you have done all your world building and character formation well before the start of NaNoWriMo, I don’t know how you can write a book in a month, but Carrie Anne Noble did it!
There isn’t a ton to say about the story. It reads like an old fashioned fairy tale. A bit like Han’s Christian Andersen or Grimm’s fairy tales as there is a section that is a bit darker, a bit more sinister… but that’s mainly aimed at the nature of people rather than to be wary of fantastic creatures. It’s a tale of three orphans who find a home with two cursed lovers that raise the children together. The two girls live with their “auntie” and the boy lives with their “uncle”. They also have a pet wyvern because why not? Then one day Maren starts turning into a mermaid and her sister, Clara, and “brother” O’Neil vow to save her. Except how do you save someone from being what they truly are? You can’t.
This is where you can kind of tell that the book was written over a short amount of time. The plot is fairly simple, you only ever see the story through Clara’s perspective so she is the only character that feels truly developed. The author also uses the other characters to recount old tales in order to give us, the reader, the information we need about the people in this story. It’s an interesting way of doing things but it felt a bit forced at times.
Clara is a very proper girl and you can see the conflict she has so clearly of loving her sister, wanting to save her, knowing she can’t, and loving someone she believes she shouldn’t. She’s a character constantly in emotional pain but its believable pain and Noble’s use of prose in her writing is so delicious when it comes to Clara and what she thinks and feels. That was honestly my favorite part of the book, Nobles use of prose to allow us to see the story through a stained glass window. Without that the story feels best suited to a children’s bed time story. Which isn’t bad if you are in the need or want that sort of story. Just know that besides the beautiful writing, the story, character, setting, plot, all of it, fits really well for a story you ready to an eight or under just before bed. And since I didn’t read this to anyone but myself, the charm of an old fashioned children’s fairy tale wore off about half way through and that’s why the cliché “happy ending” fell a bit flat. But I continued reading for the prose. Seriously, this was lovely and because of that, I’m giving it a 3.5 stars.
Click the book images to see them on Amazon!