To put it simply, this was a great book. It was unlike any merfolk book I’ve read, not because the merfolk themselves were so unique, but because of the premise: What would happen if an injured man were brought to a hospital and it was discovered he was an actual merman?
I loved this realistic take on merfolk being discovered by humans and felt like the author did a great job at considering the way different parts of society would react (the doctors and scientists were interested for one reason, the military was interested for another reason, the reporters thought it a hoax and were trying to figure out the real story). The way the humans all had theories, the things they speculated on, the incorrect things they assumed, that added a lot to the realism. Even the way the merfolk reacted was believable, how they had to consider the risks of rescuing him.
The touching family relationships were my other favorite thing about this book. At the core of this story was a father and his three adopted sons, one of whom was the captured merman, Chris. They may have been adopted, but that didn’t make their love any less strong. Julian was in a hard position, trying to figure out what was best, but I could very much feel his emotions and how much he cared for all of his kids.It was also really sweet how Matt would sit in his car near the place where Chris was being kept just to chat and even play music for Chris to listen to through their telepathic connection. And since poor Alex couldn’t do the long-range telepathy, he sat on his computer nearly 24/7 to watch video feeds of Chris that he hacked into. There was such a strong, loving family dynamic.
There were some surprisingly emotional moments. Not just touching ones about family who loved each other, but also moments that made me feel angry at the doctors and military personnel and sympathy for the merfolk they’d captured.
Another great thing was that all the characters were three-dimensional and believable and felt like real people. And let me tell you, there were a lot of characters. I especially liked all the Brooks family members, but I think my favorite was Chris (the captured merman). The way he was portrayed through the other characters’ eyes, the way his family felt about him, made him seem like a really amazing, kind, compassionate, understanding guy who brought light into everyone’s life.
The one and only issue I had with this book was that it had too many POVs. Having so many POVs and so many characters made things harder to keep track of and slowed the story way down. I understand the reasoning behind the decision—the author wanted to show a variety of perspectives that included doctors, the military, the UN, and Chris’s family—but I think the book could’ve had more of an emotional punch had it focused on fewer. That being said, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I still managed to connect with the characters and sink into the story, which is usually the issue I have with too many POVs.
Overall, I really liked these characters, their touching family dynamic, this take on merfolk, the premise, and the whole story, and I would definitely like to continue this series and spend more time with the Brooks family!
Anyone who likes merfolk, realistic characters, adorable family, and a different kind of mer story.
When an injured merman is found washed up on a beach in Maine, his arrival at the ER leaves his new doctors at a loss of how to treat him. Worse, how are they going to keep him from the military’s eager hands?
One reporter is hot on the trail of what she believes is an elaborate hoax—or the story of a lifetime. A story that has her tracking elusive clues into an ever-growing house of secrets surrounding one of the richest families in New York City.
For merfolk have been hiding in plain sight for centuries, and are now torn between sacrificing one of their own—or telling humanity the truth.
Underneath – A Merfolk Tale is an exceptionally different take on mermaid stories, one that combines the fear of the unknown with the need to protect those we love the most.