Source: Author – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Eloquent Publishing
Series: The Mer Chronicles #1
Edition: Ebook, 275 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
A Mermaid Dystopia
What lies beneath the surface? One hundred years from now, the world has changed and brought with it, new forms of life. Who are the Mers? Who is Mira? Mira always knew she was different. Growing up with Mers, she never quite fit in. When Mira breaks the rules and takes Niren across the border that divides Ellis Island and New Jersey, a border that divides two vastly different worlds, she thought the journey to find out who she really is would be an easy one. But as the world in Jersey proves to be a convoluted mix of Aristocrats who hate the Mers, Pirates who want to sell them, and Magi who want to use them…finding her true identity will be a challenge, especially when her best friend Niren is a Mer willing to fight to the death.
NOTE: This is a earlier version of the advanced copy. Ami Blackwelder has posted that the professional edited copy will be out Feb, 2012 with a new cover.
Now on to my review but with the previous note in mind. Obviously there are a lot of issues with this copy of the book so I’ll skip mentioning the grammar, spelling, and typos included in the book as they will probably be fixed before the actual copy comes out.
The concept of this is one that I don’t think I’ve ever seen and it is my first actual mermaid novel I’ve ever had the chance to read. Combining mermaids and a dystopian society seems fairly farfetched but Blackwelder definitely came up with a unique way to go about it. At first I wasn’t all that fond of the way she described the world. I understand how and why the Earth can flood in the manner that it did, however I was really lost on how people managed to create land high enough to withstand the flooding in the areas they did. It’s for the lack of a better word, unbelievable. But seeing as this wasn’t a huge part of the story (the explanation of how, not the water) I put it by the way side and continued. The Mers are a great new take on mermaids and I enjoyed the conflict between the remaining humans and the mers. It was a refreshing change to something that has always seemed the same to me. The fact that the humans hate and envy the Mers is not farfetched and the fact that they catch them and use their bodies for various goods is pretty horrible.
The characters are alright but I didn’t really connect with any of them, and I had a hard time understanding their personalities. Mira seemed to be a scatterbrain with the way her thoughts a written and I found her to be annoying. I understood her plight and I got her reasoning behind most of the things she did but it wasn’t because her character made it clear to me. Nerrin seemed like a nice guy and Nerissa seemed sweet but they were both kind of lost on me. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how old Nerissa really was because at times she seemed to be almost 10 or so and then she would switch back to being around 5. The conversations were also rather odd to me. Sometimes the conversation didn’t feel all that real and felt stiff in it’s delivery. Some of it even seems rather formal. The more climatic events fluctuated between being really good and filled with tension, to being sort of anti climatic.
Overall I did enjoy the idea of the plot and I was interested in seeing where it was all leading too, but it didn’t quite make it for me. I may pick of the finished copy to see what all changed in it and if I do I’ll be sure to post a new review for it. Please keep in mind that this review is based on the early copy and not the new copy.