Monday 7 May 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Forbidden Tides by Kyla Stan

Forbidden Tides
Author: Kyla Stan

Book Description:
Some would say I look like a mermaid, the essence of nautical beauty. I looked in the mirror and saw a monster....

Astrid Murphy, born with strange webbed hands and a thirst for saltwater, feels like a freak. She desires to look and feel normal, just like her family. But Astrid doesn’t realize that she’s meant to be the next ruler of the Deep Clan, a race of merfolk who are dying from pollution and overhunting. She is the only one who can save them.

Zander’s mission was to find Astrid and bring her home. Not fall in love with his target. Surrounded in a web of danger, a forbidden love between clan daughter and warrior blossoms. Zander knows they can’t focus on each other, and the Deep Clan must come first.

But it’s the one enemy Astrid never expected who will tear it all down. Her father. The one person who was supposed to love and protect her, will do anything to keep her from fulfilling her destiny with Zander. Even kill.

As Astrid and Zander fight for their world, they learn the true depth of what it means to love, the power of hope, and what it means to be free.

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Forbidden Tides is my first mermaid themed book, and a jolly good read it was. Having been born with webbed hands, what Astrid Murphy considers a deformity, she has always longed to be normal. Not only is she ostracised at school, but she also has to endure suffering and rejection from her own father, Finnegan Murphy, who is disgusted by her abnormality as she is a constant reminder of the Sirenia, a race of merfolk, who he deems to be vicious creatures and an abomination to life, thus, he has made it his life's mission to annihilate the Sirenia race. Unbeknown to Astrid, her deformity is not a deformity at all but rather an inherent feature of her heritage. Astrid is half human and half mermaid. Having learned the truth about her origin, Astrid has to decide whether or not to rise to the occasion and guide her kind to safety.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I had no expectations going in, and while I do have some reservations about the book, particularly the mid section, overall, I thought the story was engaging. Astrid and Zander were likable characters. I think many people will be able to relate to Astrid in the sense of feeling like an outcast because of your difference and attempting to alter your image in a bid to fit in and be accepted. There were a lot of important messages and themes addressed in the book that I appreciated. There was one thing about the story I found disturbing and very unexpected. It's one thing to capture and sell the merfolk, but it's another thing entirely to have the population consume these beings. Given that these creatures are described as human-like from the waist up, it was a provoking thought to have running through my mind. Thankfully, this topic wasn't explored in depth.

From the moment this book began it reminded me of a TV show I started watching recently called Siren. There were a lot of similarities in the depiction of the merfolk. These aren't the sweet and friendly creatures we are told about as children or that we often see depicted on screen. These vicious and feral creatures are all about survival of the fittest. Being the first to have captured a Sirenia, Finnegan knows all too well about the danger these creatures pose. The fishing industry are hunting these creatures and are attacking their food supplies just to draw them out of the deep, and it's up to Astrid and Zander to bring them back to safety. Finnegan, however, has different plans and will go to any lengths to get what he wants, even risking his daughter's life. Zander's mission and the objective of the story was well established at the start of the book, but we lose sight of this somewhere in the middle with the focus shitting to Astrid and Zander and their blossoming romance. Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance between characters - it's a definite plus - but it shouldn't be at the extent where it overshadows or sabotage the plot, which I felt it did. I wasn't too fond of the mid section of the book. Honestly, I did lose interest and my focus did shift in and out as I was reading. Fortunately, the book did take a turn in the right direction and got back on track.

For the most part, I did enjoy the story, and I'm glad I got the chance to read it.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Author

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