**Warning: Spoilers!** I'd been lusting after this book for a while, partly because of that beautiful cover, and partly because it's a romance between an Amazon and an Atlantean. I liked Thalassa and the Amazons. ;D) The problem comes in the form of the hero, King "I'm a nice guy, I swear" Dorian, of the mer-people. He kidnaps Thalassa from her people, turns her into a mer-person without her consent by magic, threatens her with the Sea Spell which will erase all her memories of her past life and render her docile, and repeatedly threatens her with rape. The concept of the Sea Spell was also disturbing, because apparently this is standard process for abducted brides among the mer-people and Dorian gets into serious trouble with the elders for not using it. At first, I found myself skimming the Thalassa/Dorian chapters - because Thalassa loses her awesomeness quickly, becoming a pouting, foot-stomping, "No, I won't eat my food, I'm going to starve!" type heroine - and reading the passages about the Amazons, because they were great. I am glad I read this book, because it was different and now I know how I feel about it instead of lusting after that gorgeous cover and fantasizing about what might be. I read the synopses for the sequels, and I think that I might be willing to give this author another chance, because they look like standalones and book two is an interracial romance between a mer-woman and a Chinese man and book three is a contemporary paranormal between a female scholar and a mer-man.
My fellow Romaniacs over at Unapologetic Romance Readers have discussed ad nauseam in their reviews the reasons why the love arch in this story is a disaster. For the purposes of my review I will be staying, for the most part, away from Thalassa and Dorians love story. At the core of this novel is a war of beliefs. Anytime you have two such extreme and opposing belief systems there is a danger of war. Far more interesting, and the love arch I truly wish had been told at the forefront, is the story of Theseus and Aloipe.
Mer-love and I don't get along very well. This book was at least a step up from THAT PIECE OF SHIT we read earlier this year, because at least the mer-people had gills in this! Mer-people should have tails. It says I can get a free makeup case and six free books if I send them in the piece of paper. But I do hope to get my free makeup case and six free books.
I read the short author's note before getting started on the story, and it gave me such high hopes for this book. The author seemed to have a great fondness for the Amazon culture, and against all my normal expectations for a romance novel, I thought this was going to have strong feminist themes. My main gripe with the story was the hero, Dorian, who ruined this entire book. He was supposed to be a nice, gentle sort of guy, but instead he was super disturbing because he came off as a "nice guy." You know, the ones who don't understand why women don't appreciate them for their superior brains and generosity. He condescended to Thalassa at every turn, expressed his arrogant opinion just as often, and used gentle force, but force nonetheless, to persuade her into doing what he wanted. And Thalassa tells him no in some form or other throughout the ENTIRE book. I was more interested in the chapters dealing with the Amazons and the Greeks than in the ones with Thalassa and Dorian.
Fighting and protecting her sisters is what she lives for - until the day she is abducted by Dorian, King of the Merfolk, who sweeps her away to his world under the sea. Filled with historical and fantasy details that I've never before read about, I learned so many amazing things about the strong but doomed ancient tribe of woman warriors known as the Amazons and the mythical Merfolk who created a peaceful life under the sea. This book is brutal and heartbreaking and filled with three-dimensional characters.
I was enraptured by the fact that they eschewed marriage because they did not want to be slaves to men--which in almost every other society, women certainly were. This book features the usual het love story, with the nice twist this time of the guy trying desperately to get HER, rather than the other way around, as usually happens.
I also wish this book was still in print.