*Received this book off Netgalley in exchange for an honest review- but the gushing you’re about to see is all me*
Like a lot of my ARC reviews at the moment, this is a little overdue- but there’s a good reason for it! Namely, I’m floundering about, struggling to find the words for how good this was. Because how on earth do you fully express your love for books that truly capture your heart?
I knew from the first line that I was falling under its spell. From the opening, I was sucked in to the evocative world under the sea Christo had created. Vividly depicted and with a striking tone, I realised straightaway that this was my kind of book. The writing was a showstopper from the start, making me chuckle darkly all the way through and catch my breath at every gorgeous turn of phrase.
Above all, the characterisation was struck through the powerful voices of the two leads. They gripped me, like sirens, dragging me down into the depths. I adored both of the main characters and soon recognised the brilliance of the dual perspectives. Lira was clever and deadly; Prince Elian, for all his sharp edges, was a sweetheart. Their back and forth banter blew me away and I nearly keeled over from how adorable their budding relationship was.
As a retelling of the Little Mermaid (incidentally one of my faves by my favourite fairy tale writer) I had both high expectations for this and also hoped for little more than a fun romp… this completely blasted those presuppositions out of the water. The plot was so much more twisted and surprising than I ever would have thought. It had a wicked premise, was all the more romantic and the evil sea witch was, well, PURE EVIL. Plus it had more pirates (yay pirates!)
One last way this slayed me was with its mesmerising world building. Both above and below the surface, it was detailed and intricately drawn. I don’t normally find asides interesting, but here they were fascinating. All the snippets of information had me hungering for more. I also appreciated the storytelling theme, like the hidden nuggets pointing to the Midas myth and the textured references to the original story. I especially liked the underlying musical theme, which reminded me of the Disney version. Obviously, this was thanks to the very tight, magnificent writing.
Rating: 5/5 bananas
So have you read this? Did you like it? Do you plan to read it? Let me know in the comments!