Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith | Book Review

Rating: 8/10

Format:  Audio-Book – Library

Buy it Here:  Merrow

Looking at the front of this book, and even the back, you’d believe it’s another fluffy, vapid, mermaid romance full of cliches and nonsense. If that’s what you actually wanted out of this book, you would be sorely disappointed. Merrow is a poetic, dreamy coming-of-age tale that reads the way your reflection looks in the water; wavy and edgeless and softer than you truly are. Also, there’s no romance to be spoken of.

It reminded me a little of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe — it’s kind of stream-of-consciousness. A little bit lacking in direction. Full of feelings and curiosity and a yearning for adulthood. I know this is my second tortured metaphor in about 100 words, but this book reads the way you might remember a fairy tale told to you while you’re falling asleep. It’s very literature-y.

We follow Neen, a 12-year-old girl who’s pretty convinced she’s a grown up. She lives with her aunt, Ushag, who’s cold and stalwart and refuses to believe in the folklore of merrows (mermaids) and the like. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that Neen suspects that her mother, Ushag’s sister, was part merrow, or became a merrow, when she left years ago. She knows Ushag has a story to tell, and she’s determined to hear it.

During her journey of attempting to get to the bottom of her mother’s disappearance, we hear many other stories within the story. The supporting characters in this book are thoroughly nuanced and interesting in their own rights. I would probably pick up a book about any one of them. From the Norseman who washes up on the beach, to the blind boy who spent his first seven years of life with fairies. I mean– this book is packed with interesting characters.

That said, it is a lot of just experiencing– the action in this book is unfocused and sometimes harder to follow than it maybe should have been. Part of the way through it I maybe wouldn’t have been able to explain the plot to you. Only that it made me feel relaxed and sleepy to listen to the audio-book, haha. If you’re looking for something action-packed and visceral, this is not the book for you.

If you want a bedtime story about merfolk and the magic of stories, this is it, right here.

Subjective Hearts: 4/5

Objective Hearts: 4/5


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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