A fun concept, and one I don’t think I’ve seen done before… normally mermaid stories follow the mermaid as the main character, but this one instead followed Meela, a 17-year old human girl raised to hate mermaids and regard them as “demons” to be killed. The prologue is great–definitely hooks you with this idea.
The first several chapters introduce Meela as a 10-year old, and describe the origins of her relationship with 10-year old Lysi, a mermaid whom she befriends (though this is very against the culture of her people.) Ice massacres have always been expeditions of human boys to venture out into the waters and kill as many mermaids as possible, trying to protect their home island of Eriana Kwai. But because mermaids can seduce, the townspeople decide they’d better send females instead. That’s how Meela ends up getting sent, along with a team of other girls her age. By this time, Meela also believes the mermaids deserve to die, because she thinks Lysi betrayed her. Of course she didn’t, though–the girl and the mermaid are together destined to turn the tide of the war.
What ensues after this setup is a lot of girl dynamics–the caricature of a “mean girl” in the role of captain, and her team of “popular” girls who do her bidding, interspersed with a lot of battle scenes involving crossbows and the occasional tete a tete with Lysi in secret, after Meela realizes she didn’t betray her after all. (But if the rest of the girls find out, she’ll be considered a traitor–as will Lysi.) It’s a fun, action-packed summer read.
My rating: *** 1/2
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