Series: The Aquarathi #1
Published by Harlequin Teen (10.29.2013)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 360 pages
Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.
Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
How to review this book? I had some very mixed feelings about this book. The concept was actually quite brilliant, but I found the delivery to be lacking. The premise was pretty awesome! View Spoiler »I totally thought going in that this was going to be a book about mermaids. It wasn’t! That was a nice little twist. The Aquarathi are actually aliens, from another planet, that came to Earth and made their kingdom undersea. « Hide Spoiler Very cool!
That is mostly where my enjoyment ended. I didn’t care about any of the characters and couldn’t connect to Narissa. Actually, I didn’t like our lead female much at all. She was kind of immature and hypocritical. There were times where I actually hated her – especially when it came to her treatment of Cara, her ex best friend. She talked about Cara like she was this awful person, and they had a rivalry going on, but Cara really wasn’t that bad. Rissa just hated her. The funny thing is, their friendship ended because of Rissa. She stole a guy from Cara! It was her fault, yet she blamed Cara and made it sound like Cara was the bad guy. It really pissed me off!
I did, however, really like the friendship between Jenna and Rissa. It was a fabulous portrayal of what friendship should be, and I would love to see more of that in YA! It wasn’t catty at all like most “frenemy” friendships we see these days in novels. Jenna was there through thick and thin, even when shit was getting crazy, and supported Rissa no matter what. I liked her a lot! She was the only character that I truly liked in this book.
I didn’t like Speio at all. He was kind of a dick, actually. I didn’t like the way he acted, and the bomb that he dropped on Rissa was pretty annoying. View Spoiler »And fake! He claimed to have feelings for her, but was lying to keep her out of his head? Wtf man. I was super annoyed for a minute though, because I thought there was going to be a love triangle. « Hide Spoiler
The romance did absolutely nothing for me. Actually, it was borderline cliche. They meet, Rissa tries to resist the hot boy’s charms, and fails. Surprise surprise. She treats him like crap and acts like a bitch because she says she hates him, when really she was developing feelings for him. Usually I enjoy the hate to love romances, but this one grated on my nerves. She thought about him ALL the time, and stared at him constantly, but said she hated him? Yeah, okay. I wasn’t really a fan of Lo. I suppose he was charming and funny, but he just didn’t do anything for me. He was too perfect. View Spoiler »Also, I knew right from the start that he was Aquarathi. So obvious! I do have to say, though, that I was surprised by the fact that he was Ehmora’s son. Didn’t see that one coming. But still, disguised Princess falls for supposed human, and he turns out to be a disguised Prince? Too convenient. « Hide Spoiler
I found the story to be a tad predictable, and the characters to be pretty flat (except for Jenna), but I did still mostly enjoy this book while I was reading it. I really liked the idea of the Aquarathi, and Rissa’s powers and true form were cool (hydroprojection aka glimmering!). I’m not sure yet if I want to continue the series. I may read the second book out of curiosity, who knows!
“Forgiveness is a choice. You control how you respond to something or someone. You can’t change things that happened in the past, but you can decide how you let them affect you.”
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5