Judging A Book

Judging A Book By Its Cover: Mermaids

This is my weekly post where I highlight beautiful books from my collection. We all judge book covers to some extent (don’t lie, you totally do!) I created this feature to showcase and admire the art and design elements of some of the books I own. If covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t make so many wonderful editions!

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Book Review

Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep
By Mira Grant

My Edition:
Hardcover, 440 pages
2017, Orbit
ISBN: 9780316379403

Imagine Entertainment set out to “find” mermaids and film a documentary about it. But after the group of scientists, reporters, actors and film crew set sail on the Atargatis and fail to return, it’s clear they found something. Raw footage surfaces, revealing snatches of what appear to be mermaids murdering and devouring the crew. Imagine does their best to dodge the blame and frame the footage as a hoax, while prepping for another mission. Tory Stewart, whose sister has been missing since the first voyage, signs up to find out what really happened to her sister and get closure, and revenge, if she can. But the crew of the Melusine soon find themselves in more troubled waters than they ever imagined.

If I trust anyone to write a story about bloodthirsty mermaids it’s Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) and she didn’t disappoint.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss

The Seafarer’s Kiss
By Julia Ember

My Edition:
Paperback, 212 pages
2017, Duet Books
ISBN: 9781945053207

Ersel feels pressure from her clan about the upcoming Grading ceremony – where young mermaids are tested to see how many fertile eggs they carry, thus determining how desirable they are to potential mates – and does not want the life her king has planned for her. When a ship crashes into the glacier she lives in and Ersel meets the lone survivor, Ragna, she discovers a life so different from her own that she now must make a choice: stay and mate with her childhood friend or face exile from the clan for befriending a human and wanting to explore the world. Determined to get the life she wants, Ersel makes a deal with Loki, but the repercussions are more far reaching than she ever imagined.

I saw this book somewhere online (Instagram? WordPress? Who knows?) and once I heard there was a lesbian mermaid, I was on board.

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Book Review

Book Review: Fish Girl

Fish Girl
By David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli

My Edition:
Paperback, 192 pages
2017, Clarion
ISBN: 9780547483931
Expected Publication Date: March 2017

A young mermaid lives in an aquarium with who she believes to be Neptune, enticing visitors with mere glimpses of her tail in order to keep the place in business. One day a girl, Livia, explores a little more than she should and discovers the mermaid. Despite their differences in lifestyles, the girls become friends and Livia dubs the mermaid Mira. Mira soon learns there is more to life outside the aquarium than she thought and is desperate to explore the world. She begins her steps to independence, literally, when she discovers her fins become legs when she leaves the water.

This is a light, middle-grade graphic novel focusing on Mira’s journey for the truth and independence. I love Donna Jo Napoli’s work (Zel anyone!? That’s one of my favorite middle-grade novels) and mermaids, so I was excited to receive a copy of Fish Girl.

Art style is a big factor for me when it comes to graphic novels (part of the reason why I don’t purchase too many of them) and unfortunately, Wiesner’s style wasn’t for me (in Fish Girl anyway. I loved Art & Max). However, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story; it just didn’t add to it either.

Mira’s narrative in regards to her life inside the aquarium and her experiences is a bit obvious because, due to the nature of the graphic novel, it’s easy to see what she’s doing and her recap of events wasn’t always necessary. The book is aimed at younger readers though so extra narration might be useful in some cases.

Mira and Livia were likable enough and I found myself liking the octopus despite being seriously creeped out by them in real life. The concept that Mira’s fins transform into legs when outside the water was an interesting one, though I would have liked to know more about why that happens. I was left with many questions at the end, which I won’t raise here because I suppose they’d spoil the story. I’d really love to see this in novel format because I think it would give the characters and the plot more depth.

This is a fun book for mermaid lovers and would make a good tale for younger readers to try out on their own because the dialogue is fairly simple and using sparingly.

I received this book for free from HMH books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.
You can visit David’s website here and Donna’s here.

Book Review

Book Review: The Gracekeepers

The Gracekeepers
By Kirsty Logan

My Edition:
Paperback, 293 pages
2015, Crown Publishers
ISBN: 9780553446616
Expected Publication Date: May 2015

I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From the back of the book: As a gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance. In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both  their lives – offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

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