Title: Emerge [Mer Chronicles 1]
Author: Tobie Easton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk. So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Emerge by Tobie Easton is one of those books I could easily dismiss as a 5 star read because it’s a YA book and call it a day. “It’s meant for kids” seems to be a popular mantra when it comes to explaining away plot holes and inconsistencies. I’m not going to do that, though, because as good as this book was—and don’t get me wrong, it was good—there were certainly some world building problems that dragged this down to a 4 star read for me.
First, though, let’s get the technical bits out of the way. The book was exceedingly well written/edited. I didn’t run into any obvious typos grammatical mistakes or inconsistencies. The narrative flowed well and at a steady pace throughout. I was engaged by the narrative voice from the very beginning all the way to the end of the book.
The cast of characters was colorful and for the most part, likable (except for Mel and her father) and overall, well characterized.
In fact, except for the way the mermaid’s anatomy and their homes were handled, I don’t have much to complain about. I know it’s easy to dismiss the mermaid aspects of the story because it’s a YA Fantasy novel… but I wasn’t buying it. The mishmash of fantasy and uncomfortably awkward way the mermaid’s transformation was handled made for a strange chunk of world building. I found it hard to follow along with how the mermaid architecture and the how the intricacies of underwater life worked. Maybe I’m being a nitpicker, but it didn’t work for me.
That aside, I loved the book. I loved almost everything about it, and I’m glad I read it in the end. I think it’d make a great addition to any mermaid lover’s bookshelf, and let’s be honest here… who doesn’t love mermaids?