I wasn’t sure about this book when I first picked it up. A bunch of mermaid books came out at the same time, and I was having a hard time differentiating them. This book is about Syrena, not mermaids, which seems like a small difference, but it was enough for me. The characters were interesting, and there was some hilarious dialogue.
Emma was okay as a character. She started off as a bit too weak for my taste, but she grows stronger as the story progresses. Galen was fairly interesting, though his quick temper (which seems to be the temper of all Syrena) did make him unlikable a few times. But the chemistry between the two got more interesting as the story progresses, and the dialogue improves with each page.
The plot had a few stumbles along the way, like how Emma deals with the death of her best friend, Chloe. This happens right at the beginning of the book, and her death is so violent and scary, yet Emma doesn’t seem to be as affected as I expected her to be. And Emma’s mother isn’t consistent regarding keeping strict tabs on Emma vs. letting her do whatever with Galen. It doesn’t make sense, for multiple reasons. Also, the plot twists were rather predictable, though this didn’t bother me much for some reason.
I did like the Syrena lore that the author created. All the history of Poseidon and Triton, plus their abilities, were well planned out. And the underwater scenes were vivid and beautifully written. I felt like I was there. The Syrena culture was a bit shocking—women have absolutely no rights, not even about who they get to marry. As a result, Galen tries to order Emma about, which she resists with a strong will of her own. Many reviewers have criticized the story for this, but I was okay with it. Mostly because it’s culture that’s been around for generations, so it’s not going to change overnight. But it does make for some interesting scenes when Emma’s culture clashes with Galen’s. I’m guessing that Emma is going to bring about change in this arena, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Overall, I thought this was a fairly enjoyable book, with a few stumbles that I could overlook.