Thursday, August 14, 2014

Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney *Review*

Mystery, Mermaid, Adult
Publication Date:June 9, 2014
Published By:  Createspace
WebsiteWaking the Merrow on Goodreads

Heather Rigney's Website
My review copy: From Author for honest review in event

Where to get:

In 1772, angry Rhode Island colonists set fire to a British ship, sparking the American Revolution. Taxation without representation was a motivator. So was the vengeful, man-eating mermaid who had it out for the commanding officer.

That was then. This is now. 

Mermaids, or merrow, still hunt in Narragansett Bay, but these days they keep a lower profile.

At night, centuries-old Nomia seduces smutty frat boys, lures them into icy waters, and feeds them to her voracious kin. By day, she and her half-breed daughter attempt to blend in at the coastal Village Playground. 

But Nomia slips up. She makes a friend. Then she makes that friend disappear, and someone notices.

Thirty-something Evie McFagan just wants to make it through working motherhood. But she’s a blistering stew of issues—snarky alcoholic and a friendless funeral director who just witnessed Nomia dismembering a guy at the nearby yacht club.

When Evie believes a mermaid stole her baby, who will help? The merrow of Ireland? Or maybe anti-hero Evie will surprise everyone, including herself, and summon the strength to save her own family. 

Intertwining the stories of two primordial families with the colonial history of Narragansett Bay, Waking the Merrow is a dark historical fantasy.

I hadn't had a drink in almost five days.  I had coffee burns on my legs.  I had almost killed my own child.  And I was at the playground     again.  I deserved a little adult conversation, even if I wasn't an active participant.
"She's gone.  Not 'out for a pack of cigarettes' gone, more like 'a dingo stole my baby' gone.  But it wasn't a dingo, Paddy     it was a fucking mermaid!  You should have hot that bitch harder!"
They hold the essence of humanity in their altered-parallel species, a species that feasts on the flesh of what was human but was now reduced to human sushi. 

Dark & Different...

  I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book.  I did not read the synopsis, nor did I judge it by its cover (although I really like the cover).  What I did know is that it came highly recommended.  What I got was one hell of a shock when I started reading.  There is Mermaids and lore woven into this read, but it is not primarily a mermaid book.  The author took this unique and amusing idea and twisted into a story that I found myself with odds with at times, and yet I could not turn away.  I chalk this up to the authors talent to spin an honest to goodness dark and mysterious read.

  The author deserves a lot of credit for excellent pacing and a knack for keeping things interesting.  The characters were different but they fit right in and it was nice not having a main character that was perfect with few faults, but one that had faults and within them the determination to get things done.  I also should mention, there was not a single swoon worthy guy waiting at the edge of the pages getting ready to save the day.  This in itself made it a huge difference from anything I have picked up before. It's the type of book that between it's pacing and Rigney's writing that you will find yourself at odds with putting it down, not because things are perfect but because you want to see how the main character makes out.

  Evie, was really something else.  When we first met her my jaw about fell off dropping.  Her language, her self image, her parenting and her drinking floored me.  She is not a typical character by any standards or means.  The honest part of me wants to tell you that she was a horrible human being, but then she really wasn't.  She did drink a fair amount but when it came down to it, she was not taking any crap laying down.  A Mermaid trying to mess up her life... Well, HELL NO!! She did not care if the woman/mermaid was murderous, she was a force of her own and would not back down.  Evie was flawed and filled with snark but when it came down to it her heart was absolutely in the right place.

  There is no real romance in this book.  Instead what you will find is a strained and real feeling marriage.  This is a book that makes you think twice about what perfect is, and make you consider that everyone's type of happiness is different.  Her husband was not a Greek god but she appreciated him and his flaws.  However, it drove me crazy when her husband lied or withheld information from her and her bitch of a mother in-law treated her like less than garbage.  Her husband keeping things from her and banding up with his mom to do so at times, made me want to scream.  No Evie is not perfect but he should have been honest and not treated her as if she were crazy.  But she still loved him and I found it easy to appreciate what they did have when things were going down.

 The brave steps that this author took in making this book stand out worked for me.  With the unique plot, good pacing and wonderful writing, Heather Rigney has me hooked.  The hesitation that I felt towards the start of the book dissipated, once I accepted how wonderfully different the book is.  The Mermaids in it are different and I appreciated the deviation from the norm.  It isn't that there isn't man eating Mermaids out there, but more that these ones are even an abnormality from normal in their world.  I have to say congratulations to Heather Rigney on a wonderful début novel and I look forward to the next book of her that I can get my hands on.

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