Review: Tangled Tides

Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper
Release Date ~ November 25, 2011
Rhemalda Publishing
ISBN13: 9781936850433
Goodreads Synopsis:
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.
Young Adult fans of Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Gorgons will love this tale of the sacrifice one makes for genuine love. Love that could be lost at any moment to the ever-changing tides.

I'm a lifelong member of The Little Mermaid fan club, but strangely enough I haven't been much of a fan of mermaid books. Honestly, I had yet to find one that I really enjoyed and I was a bit worried about that with all of the upcoming mermaid books. But it's official, I've been converted- all thanks to a little book called Tangled Tides.
Rich in thoughtful, artistic mythology and intricate characters I found myself charmed with the story and its characters and by the end I was craving more!

  1. Stunning mythology:
    Like I mentioned above, Tangled Tides is just full of this. And Karen masterfully weaves traditional elements with some ideas of her own and boy, does it ever work! The sheer amount of history and world building is phenomenal, and easily one of my favourite aspects of this novel. And I'm hoping that later stories in the series will have a strong emphasis on this and other characters in this world, because the plotline seemed to be tied up fairly neatly at the end. Seriously though, the amount of thought and creativity behind the relationships of the gorgons, selkies, mermaids, and sirens is astounding. You must read this book if only for this element alone.
  2. Flawless romantic tension:
    I love a good romance story, as much as any person. But I was so impressed by this one, because of how natural it felt and how the characters just seemed to gradually flow together. In my mind there were no questions that they should be together, but I didn't realize it at first. The tension between the two of them ended up being intoxicating and the execution was nearly flawless.
  3. Flawed characters:
    The romance may have been flawless, but the characters were not. They were so imperfect, but it lended a sense of unpredictability to the events and outcome. Karen really nailed their development, and made them come alive. I know that as readers we tend to look for characters we can identify with, ones who aren't presented as perfect individuals and every single characters was like that in Tangled Tides. There isn't any clear "bad guy" nor "good guy" and even Yara would frustrate me to pieces at times, only to redeem herself later on.
I have to say that there were some times it suffered from the cheese-factor. We're left with some really cheesy lines with the romance, that didn't really resonate with me. Even Yara points it out at one time, so it isn't just me! But hey, as long as she can own it. And besides that some things were both odd and cool at the same time. Mermaids are apparently coloured like a rainbow (your rank/social status determines your colour. In ROYGBIV order) and they also work as mood rings. Yep. Mood rings. They sort of change colour depending on their mood. It's kind of a neat idea, but it also just seemed kind of random.

But overall, a VERY enjoyable and surprising read. I mean, I'm convinced that good mermaid books are out there (even if I've only read one so far) so it must be a good book! I'm really curious to see where this goes as a series, because the ending didn't seem very open for more to take place regarding Yara. We'll see, maybe there are more surprises in store. It could easily be read as a stand-alone though.

Review copy received from publisher in exchange for my honest review; no other compensation was received!

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Wendy G. Ewurum: Blog Author said...

this must be a really great book. All reviews are very good so far.

flashlight_reader said...

I've seen this one and thought about ordering it on Amazon. Thanks for the review. Now I know I'll enjoy it. I wasn't sure if it well into the "romance" category since the cover doesn't look YA-ish to me.

I so LOVE The Little Mermaid! My husband banned me from buying TLM stuff from Ebay a while back, but I still get excited when I see Ariel on things. I have TLM lawn art. =) (In the backyard.)

Anonymous said...

Excellent review, Brenna! I read this the other week and completely agree with your thoughts on Tangled Tides. I still haven't written a review for it though >.< EEEK!

Anyways, wishing you a very Happy New Year! Be safe...and have CUPCAKES!!

A Cupcake and a Latte: Young Adult Reviews!

Sophia Rose said...

I do love the idea of a good mermaid book and I've had my eye on this one.

Thanks for the review!

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