Genre: YA fantasy
Published: Dec. 7, 2011
Back jacket blurb: When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.
First line: “I barely heard her parting words as the screen door slammed shut,” this first line hints at the conflict that courses through this story and introduces us to the conflicted protagonist, Eviana.
What I Liked:
The cover – it is absolutely exquisite and based on that alone I probably would’ve picked this up off a shelf to read. The title too is well chosen, fitting into the story at critical points of the tale.
The world of mermaids, selkies, kelpies, naiads and other water creatures. The author really brings the world of water creatures to life in this first installment of the Syrenka series. Given the overwhelming number of vampires and werewolves in YA literature these days, reading about mermaids was refreshing.
The protagonist Eviana. This girl makes some really bad decisions and ends up paying for them in spades. Eviana is definitely not a Mary Sue. In fact, not too many people actually like her by the end of the story and I was still rooting for her, understanding her internal conflict and the mess of emotions she was trying so hard not to drown in. This is a realistic and somewhat poignant portrayal of a teenage girl not ready for the mantle and burden of her inherited responsibility.
What I Didn’t Like:
The editing. There are numerous typos throughout the story. There are also tense and grammar errors that detract from the story as a whole. In places, even a name is spontaneously changed. The author really needs to go through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb and correct the many editorial errors while tightening up some of the more long winded sentences.
3/5 ink splats. This story is a pleasant YA read, but the editorial errors really annoyed me and detracted from the overall impact of the story.