I really enjoyed this little steampunk fantasy about a disabled siren and the pirate captain who rescued them from captivity!
The relationship progressed in such a natural-feeling way. By the time Perle was willing to risk their own safety for the safety of Dejean, I didn’t even think twice about it because it just felt right. I also loved the interplay of Dejean’s good-naturedness and Perle’s grumpiness. (To be fair, Perle was grumpy for good reason, even though Dejean was helping them.) It was fun reading about Perle complaining or making a snarky remark and Dejean just smiling and laughing in return, able to sense the tone even if he couldn’t actually understand what Perle said. And it was really cute seeing Perle do things like tuck their face against Dejean’s shoulder as they grumbled, slowly getting closer to him even if they didn’t want to admit it. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if it was a romance, but it was something emotionally intimate and sweet, and I liked it.
I loved all the diversity. The sirens didn’t have gender as a concept (they could change biologically when necessary, as some sea creatures do, but to them the only difference among their kind was whether a siren was currently pregnant or not) so Perle was nonbinary by our human standards. Dejean was asexual and had dark skin. There were some other LGBT+ and POC characters as well. Perle was also disabled with a paralyzed tail, and another character made them a steampunk-esque prosthetic. The characters even used a made-up form of sign language to communicate since the sirens don’t speak the same way humans do. It seemed like Perle and Dejean might have both also had PTSD, but that was never explicitly stated.
The book also had themes of forgiveness and growth and second chances.
I liked the siren perspective. How Perle perceived human things they had never seen before or had no experience with, or things that differed from the way things worked for sirens. Everything was a sponge to them. Mattress? Large sponge. Bandages and pillows? Fluffy sponge.
There were couple things near the end that didn’t really make sense. There also wasn’t really any pirating, so you might be disappointed if pirates are what you’re looking for. But other than that, I didn’t have any issues.
Overall, this book had a nice balance of sweet, quiet moments and fast paced, action-filled moments, a diverse and likeable set of characters, a fun siren perspective, and I really enjoyed it!
Anyone who likes sirens, sweet relationships, and lots of diversity/inclusivity.
The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.
That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.
Perle was the first siren captured—but the only one Kian still keeps prisoner. Song muted and tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape finally rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?
Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping these newfound human companions will fight with them.