This is a fantastic, complex series that has only gotten better with each book!
I love that every book in this series has had its own smaller plot, but overall the series is still about the premise of what would happen if merfolk were discovered by humans. The author didn’t take the easy way out and wrap things up with a rushed ending and a neat little bow after the conflict of the first book was resolved. Instead, it has been super realistic and continued to delve deeper into merfolk-human relations, and each book has built on the previous ones.
I love that this series is about family as much as it’s about merfolk-human relations. I love the Brooks family and how close-knit they are. I love how hard Julian tries to be the best father possible to all of his adopted sons and how much he loves and respects them. I love the realistically rocky but always loving and loyal relationships between the brothers. This time there was also an unexpected relative who showed up and added another complicated family relationship into the mix. There was a lot of focus on what it means to be family and the message that blood might be a reason to give someone a chance but isn’t the deciding factor (since the brothers are all adopted from different parents). There were quite a few touching moments, some that made me teary-eyed.
There were still a lot of POVs, and it was a bit hard to keep up with in the first book, but now I don’t even notice, and I love getting to see such a well-rounded picture. Especially since every POV is clearly separated and so different, like they’re all real people.
I still enjoyed getting to see the mistaken assumptions characters make, especially about merfolk, when they didn’t have all the information. It just added to the realism and was also funny sometimes.
I also still enjoyed that there wasn’t a whole bunch of romance. One of the teenage sons had a crush/maybe-girlfriend, but it was something that fit naturally in the story and was only a small part.
I’ve definitely become attached to all these characters, merfolk and human. I don’t even have a favorite, I just love reading about them all together. But I have to say, Drake turned out to be really interesting. I feel like we didn’t get to know him that much in previous books, but he featured prominently this time, and he’s ridiculously intelligent—and calculating when he wants or needs to be. Luckily he’s one of the good guys. I loved getting to know him better, and I couldn’t help but smile at some of his antics and brilliant plans.
To summarize, this was another amazing book in an amazing series with touching family relationships, realistic characters, and an interesting, complex premise about merfolk-human relations!
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in M.N. Arzu's Under series. Anyone who likes merfolk, realistic characters, adorable family, and a different kind of mer story.