First things first: happy birthday to my little sister! We can’t celebrate together today, but we will in a couple of months.
(Featured image borrowed from Goodreads.com.)
Now that it’s February, I figured my books this month to read and review should be related to love, romance, all that good stuff. I decided to start with Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hopper as it’s one of the books on my reading challenge (read a book set at sea).
Overall, it was an enjoyable book, but not one that I’d sit and reread again and again. I enjoyed the worldbuilding much more than the characters.The plot was mostly predictable with some surprising twists.
Yara, the main character, lives on an island close to the Keys with her not-uncle-by-blood, Lloyd. Lloyd’s kidneys are failing, so while he is receiving treatment in the Keys, Yara stays on the island to protect her uncle’s house from a hurricane. While trying to shutter the blinds, a mysterious young man appears from nowhere and helps her. He immediately has some sort of hypnotic pull on her (she’s entranced, like she’s under a spell). As the storm picks up, he asks her if she wished for him to take her to somewhere safe. While entranced, she does so and promptly blacks out.
When she wakes up, she is underwater and has been turned into a mermaid. The mysterious man who kidnapped her, Treygan, states that he is her guardian and is taking her to someone who can teach her to be a mermaid. She refuses because she wants to see her boyfriend, Rownan, and Uncle Lloyd. They blow up at each other and things happen.
The story plays out like a typical Romeo and Juliet romance for a while. We find out eventually that merpeope and selkies (yup, there are selkies in this) were trapped in our world eighteen years ago (oh, what’s that? Yara was kidnapped the day before her 18th birthday? No, she doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on at all.) and they can only survive by smoking C-weed and seagarettes. These are produced from plants grown in the catacombs surrounding the gate that opens back to the world they are originally from, Rathe.
I really did not like any of the characters at first. Yara was whiny (she’s supposed to be stubborn, and she is, but in an over the top, uncompromising way). Treygan was super broody and serious. Rownan was just slimy. They toned down throughout the book–or at least the background on their actions made more sense, which explained why they acted the way they did. But I never really connected to any of them.
Love is the driving force behind a lot of this novel. Once I started thinking of this as a Disney/fairy tale instead of a serious novel, it was much easier to swallow. Their actions were over the top like that. I mean, also, we have mermaids, selkies, sirens (which were more like harpies, but eh, part of why I thought the worldbuilding was better), gorgons, angels, and gods. I’d go into more of the gorgon side of things, but it might be a spoiler-esque thing. I will say the gorgons (Stheno and Euryale) were the ones who trapped the selkies, the merpeople, and the sirens in our world because of “a promise broken.”
I’m not sure I’m convinced enough to read the sequel or the series, but this was a quick, easy, mostly feel good read. As long as you go in with a Disney mindset, it’s enjoyable. I gave it three stars on Goodreads because I have no strong feelings about it. I didn’t hate it, but I’m not going to rave about it. But, hey, it’s another one off my list. Hopefully I’ll have better things to say about the next book I review.