This book was AMAZING!
I just stumbled upon it a few days ago and read it almost immediately because I was so drawn to it, and it more than lived up to my expectations.
I haven’t read a lot of mer books, but, of the ones I have read, never has one been so fully immersed in the undersea world. The descriptions of the merpeople and their dwellings, the way the mermaids rubbed their tails with jellyfish extract and whale blubber to make them shiny, the bed made of jellyfish, the lights made from the glow of deep sea creatures, buildings made from whale bones—I won’t mention everything because it’d spoil the fun, but it was genuinely some of the most incredible and creative world building I’ve ever read.
And the author left no stone unturned. Everything was covered, from buildings to furniture to lights to beauty to jewelry. Everything was just so mer and ocean and under the sea, and I recognize that those are not adjectives, but I don’t know how else to explain it. Even the metaphors and phrases stuck to the ocean theme, which makes sense because, for example, a mermaid would say, “Follow in her fin strokes,” rather than,” Follow in her foot steps.” But the fact that S.J. Valfroy thought to make those changes just made the book so much better.
Another thing the author did amazingly well was illustrating how feelings, misinterpretations, and the smallest of actions can all combine to spiral things out of control into huge, irreparable problems, and I’m not just talking about Serena (because her decisions were no one’s fault but her own). Manipulation was also portrayed so well that it was almost painful to read when Serena actually started believing her mother.
I did have a slight issue with some occasional head hopping, especially since I felt like it was written well enough for me to grasp everything just through Serena’s POV, but it was a minor thing that might not bother other people at all.
Overall, though the book didn’t exactly correspond with The Little Mermaid, it clearly had some connections, which made for a really fun read. I loved getting to see this version of how the sea witch came to be, and, again, I was captivated by and loved being immersed in this underwater world.
One last thing though, can we talk about THAT COVER?! I might have to order the paperback because I don’t think I can survive without having that gorgeousness physically on my bookshelf.
And, guys, the rest of the series is going to be about different villains and how they came to be. How freaking awesome is that?!
Now go read this book!
Anyone looking for a great mermaid read. Anyone who likes villains as protagonists. Fans of The Little Mermaid, especially if you like Ursula the sea witch.
You Can Listen to My Book-Inspired Playlist Here:
Book Author: S.J. Valfroy
Publisher: Self Published
Series: The Era of Villains
Genre: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Retelling, The Little Mermaid Retelling
My Book Rating: 4.5
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series
Setting Location: Under the Sea