Book Review: Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
For someone who likes watching mermaid films and once dreamed of being a mermaid, I never once had interest in reading mermaid novels. I don’t know why that is, but in my quest to be the wide reader my mom claimed me to be, I asked Karen Amanda Hooper for a digital copy Tangled Tides in exchange for an honest review. That said, I would like to thank her for introducing me to the wonderful world of merfolk, selkies, and other mythical creatures mentioned in the book.
Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs #1)
by Karen Amanda Hooper
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters-until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.
Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people-until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process-or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.
The cover is pretty as mermaids go. It reminds me of that scene in the Little Mermaid where Ariel flipped her hair when she got out of the water as human. Anyway…
I had a bit of a problem with reading the ebook. Each chapter was told in the POV of either Yara, Treygan, or Rownan. While reading, the indicator would say, for example, Yara, but the continuing paragraphs are still on the previous person’s POV. I guess it was messed up from the conversion from PDF to epub. Fortunately, I had common sense and used it while reading.
It took me quite a while to finish reading this because of various reasons. I wanted to finish it in a day but life keeps getting in the way. I’d say it was a rough start, it was slow paced and took a lot of pages to get to the point. But as soon as some secrets were revealed, it got interesting. I became curious about merfolk and selkies, and even sirens.
Yara was annoying. Wait, no. She’s stubborn. I sometimes feel like she acts like a spoiled brat, which I guess makes her annoying at times. If she wants something, she wants it done right away. Treygan on the other hand, is a very patient merman, or is he just patient with Yara? He’s also carrying a lot of burden within himself. Yara doesn’t like him at first because she felt like he was responsible for what happened to her. I liked the constant bickering with between the two though. At some level I think it’s cute, I found myself smiling silly while reading those parts.
I don’t know how I feel about Rownan, he’s not that bad but he isn’t good either. He has his reasons for doing the things he did, and I think it’s understandable given the circumstances. And at some point he was concerned with Yara’s well-being. The other characters are likable, in my opinion, except for the other selkies like Jack.
The cross-breeding between monsters felt like a stretch, I was confused for a while, found myself stopping to recall who was half what and what it meant in relation with the whole story.
The C-weed and seagarette bit were witty in my opinion, but it felt ridiculous too. I mean, the purpose of those were understandable but the manner of usage, smoked like weed and tobacco was silly. There were even parts where a lighter was mentioned and a C-weed was smoked underwater, like how? While I try to recall that part, I don’t know if I misunderstood the description of their whereabouts or they really were underwater.
When most the information was revealed, it made sense. I was out of the loop just as Yara was most of the time, which was a good thing, it kept me guessing where the story was headed. There were also a lot of funny conversation between the characters. When I think about it, the lore and everything else, it’s quite genius. Do you know how hard it is to come up with a plot that makes sense and make ends meet? At least, to me, it made sense in the end. Even the references and Treygan’s naiveness with human terminologies felt real.