Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: The Rising (The Painted Maidens Trilogy #1) by Terra Harmony

Release Date: November 7, 2013
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean — and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

This has been a banner year for my mermaid obsession!
Are mermaids perhaps the new vampire? Eh. Whatever the reason, I've run across more books dealing with fish-chicks in 2013, than in previous years combined. Yay!

Alrighty, review time.
The Rising had some problems, mainly the awkward third person narration. I usually don't mind third person, but there were definitely some clunky moments in this story because of it. I also can't say that the writing in general was perfection. Nothing horrible, and nothing that kept me from understanding what was going on, just a tad...off.
I thought that the overall story was so original and different from anything else I've read, that it more than made up for the other stuff.
It's not that I've never seen mermaids and werewolves in the same book, but I've honestly never seen it done like this. The two groups just don't make much sense together, you know? Werewolves are usually in books with demons, witches, or vampires, and mermaids are usually with selkies, sirens, or faeries. Not always, but often enough that I think you'll agree with me. Even when they are in the same book they seem to be blended into a large magical community, and not necessarily connected to each other.
At first, I thought their connection didn't make a whole lot of sense, but (again) it's such an original concept that it kept me interested.

The world the author creates for this story is pretty cool. The Undine (mermaids) live in the ocean, but make their homes in caves that aren't underwater. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure where these underwater-but-not-underwater caves would be... Ok. Never mind. Pretend I missed something when the author was explaining it.
'Cause let's face it, I probably did.
Anyway, about half of the time these guys are on two legs. They control the growth of the scales on their bodies, which serves as not only clothing, but armor. Also, they can't talk unless they are on dry land. And apparently, they are just as bad as we are when it comes to facing up to environmental problems. This is one of the things Serena is working to change, and part of the reason she gets herself into trouble at the beginning of the book.

The romance seemed to take a backseat to the plot, and I found myself not caring if she ended up getting the guy or not. Which was fine! Just don't go into this expecting an angsty love story, ok? The secrets Serena uncovers along the way make up for any lack of chemistry between the characters.

If you're looking for something unusual, then you just might want to check this out.


Neyra said...

I'm always looking for something new and refreshing, and this sounds like just the thing to pick up! I haven't read a lot of mermaid books, tbh but I am intrigued :) Great review Anne, I'm going to add this to my pile


Just don't go into it expecting totally awesome writing, and I think you'll like it!

Bookworm Brandee said...

The premise of The Rising intrigued me - yeah, that mermaid and werewolf thing. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it despite its problems, Anne. I'll have to give it a go sometime.

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