Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago (GoodReads).
- Originality: 9. This high score is not only because this is the first mermaid book I have read (clearly I refuse to acknowledge Ripple). The mixing of historical fiction, mermaid lore, and the split narration between colonial times and present day felt fresh. (Even if I didn't dig the mermaid lore...).
- Absurdity: 9. If Originality did not convince you, keep reading.
- Level of Paranormal Romance: 4 for the relationship and 9 for the paranormal part. Underwhelming. I felt like the reincarnated soul-mate aspect was a biiiiit too close to having a crush on a great-grandfather. Just take Michael J Fox in Back to the Future as a role model. Don't get romantically involved with family members from the past. BUT paranormal romance points for cursed ghosts who love the reincarnated souls of mermaids, right?
- Level of Harry-Potterness: 6. For writing style and sophistication, this score reflects the satisfaction I felt in figuring out the overlapping stories. The story was well-told, even if it was not for me.