Author: Tiana Warner
Publisher: Rogue Cannon Publishing
Publication Date: 18. September 2014
Rating: 4/5. Stars
Diversity: POC, LGBT Characters
TW: Character Death, Murder
Summary: A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.
The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.
Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.
For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.
Disclaimer: I recieved and e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Due to mermaid attacks that prevent the people of Eriana Kwai from fishing in the ocean the whole island is suffering from poverty. Every ship they send out to fish got destroyed and it’s crew killed. Even the annual Massacres, where 18-year-old boys trained to kill as many mermaids as possible get send out on a ship, can’t stop the mermaids and many youths are lost to the Sea. As a last resort they decide to train girls, who can resist mermaid magic. Meela now has to stop thinking about her past and fight for her future. But when the past suddenly catches up on her, it all gets even more complicated.
Meela is a fascinating main character and I enjoyed the flashback into her childhood, it gave way more depth into her character, even though I would have preferred to have the book start with her childhood and only then show us what happened afterwards because with the sudden (really long, definitely a bit too long) flashback I was a bit confused. She formed a wonderful friendship as a child, her trust was one of her defining features. But that trust was betrayed and so she learned to harden her heart, which should help her survive the Massacre.
The book is incredible fast paced and full of action. Mermaids are flesh-eating monsters, waylaying fishing boats and stealing kids from the beach (and they can look seriously monstrous, true stuff right from a nightmare, I love terrifying mermaids!!!). There are amazing fight scenes and while I didn’t necessarily like all the girls, I enjoyed reading about them anyway. (even though it was hard keeping twenty girls straight at the beginning) I would however have loved some more insight into Dani’s mindset, but I’m pretty sure that’s something that will happen in the second book.
I thought I would enjoy this book for its amazing diversity – it’s set on an island which is mostly inhabited by dark-haired people with brown skin (there are a few residents with pale skin and blonde hair who can trace their heritage back to the mainland) features a LGBT romance and the MC is an amazing kick-ass girl, she’s neither a Damsel in Distress nor a Mary Sue – but it definitely still blew me away. The plot is well thought out and it features so many more amazing things. A predominately non-white female cast, amazing battle scenes and wonderful friendships.
The ending is left open, but thankfully the sequel is out already and I’ll buy it as soon as I can.
All in all I adored that book, but there were some points I didn’t enjoy as much. The too long flashback nearly turned me off the book and some of the girls acted more like walking stereotypes than real girls or warriors, which took a bit of my enjoyment. The rest of the book however was truly amazing.
Why I read it: It’s a book about mermaids featuring a diverse cast and have I mentioned the amazing deadly terrifying mermaids!! The setting is truly amazing.
Do I recommend it: Definitely. This was an incredible enjoyable read with a wonderful romance and I can definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a LGBT book which doesn’t focus on the romance with amazing fantasy.