Author: Sutton Shields
My Rating: 5 conch
By At: Amazon
Summary from Goodreads:
Take a fish-phobic girl, divide her by one hot merman, add a splash of his crazy ex-merbitch, and you get one stinky school year.
Sixteen-year-old Marina Valentine is a rule-stretcher in an uptight Texas seaside town. She’s hormonally challenged, curious to a fault, hates fish, and has a dating resume that makes the queen look like a slut. It’s not that guys don’t ask her out. They do. She just has an unfortunate reaction to dating—uncontrollable gags. It’s not exactly a turn on.
One by one, her oddball friends start disappearing—much to the joy of the snobby high school royals—and Marina fears she is a walking bull’s eye. Inquiries into their disappearances lead to startling, gag-worthy discoveries. Toss in an increasingly inconvenient attraction to one of the royals—who holds the key to solving the mystery…in his fin—and it’s an anti-fish girl’s worst nightmare come true. Soon, Marina finds herself at the center of a looming underwater war that’s really going to play games with her love life.
As time closes in—and the Merpeople officially come out of the ocean—Marina must choose between the lives of her friends, the future of an underwater utopia, and the life of her first love. There’s just one problem. Where does a love-shy, fish-phobic, non-mergirl even begin…especially when her enemy may be the one person she trusted above everyone else?
I’m not sure why I waited so long to read this book and now I’m kicking myself for it. Holy merp! I absolutely loved this story! From the very first chapter, I felt like I’d been transported to a Kim Harrison/Kelley Armstrong urban fantasy world with the coolest human powers and a society that punished them for being different. In all honesty, I would have been happy just reading about the Imperia and the Normals without including all of the merfolk mythology. But alas, this is a merperson book, and I found myself equally entertained when we started learning about their world. I would love to spend a day in Sutton’s head – her creativity just blows my mind. We follow Marina as she’s banished to TX (a place I wouldn’t want to banished to) and forbidden to use her Reader abilities without facing certain execution. There, she eventually learns of the merps and their civil wars and has a chance to visit their magical underwater cities (okay, now I would love to be banished there). Marina is full of snark (with a capital S) and Sutton manages to do this without making her annoying. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue, the action, and the budding romance. Oh and let me tell you about Manakel – a horny, Australian, earth angel – yep, yum. I’m so looking forward to seeing more of him in the sequels! Although not a cliffhanger, the ending certainly leaves you wanting more and I downloaded the second book (Overfalls) right away because I simply couldn’t get enough.
The Good: FABULOUS characters and a brand new world filled with every type of magical, human, and mythological creature that could possibly ever exist. And written well enough not to be confusing.
The Issue: Hmm...in all honesty, this is a tough one. I suppose I would liked to have spent more time in the "Human" world learning about those with special abilities and why they're all put in institutions.
The Rating: Five conch. A fantastic book with a refreshing take on folklore and a writer who knows how to keep you entertained. By all means, check out this book now!