Book Review: The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr

*I received an ARC of the novel*

An intriguing twist on the tale of The Little Mermaid, author Christina L. Barr’s The Dark Mermaid delivers.

The setting of the story begins underwater and moves to land towards the latter part of the book. No matter the setting, the plot moves forward and keeps readers guessing till the end. While the book starts off strong its the latter half of the novel which is a bit weak in execution.

Though the story’s mostly dark, bits of light seep into the story. Readers will find the main character and the supporting cast relatable in various ways. The themes of loss and choosing to follow a path of darkness or light are emphasized throughout the story. Unlike the tale it’s based on, there’s no happy ending waiting at the end of the novel for the characters. The ending’s bittersweet forecasting dark days ahead while still clenching on to the little hope that remains.

Overall, The Dark Mermaid is an excellent novel and will keep readers invested not only till the book’s ending but also for future sequels that are to come.

4/5

Book Review: Almost Alive

22349283Let me just start by saying that I love the cover of the book. Miss Barr does an excellent job of creating covers for her stories and this cover definitely gets the attention of a would-be reader.

Almost Alive is a supernatural tale of epic proportions. Its theme of good vs. evil reminds me a little bit of the CW’s Supernatural and Buffy, but instead of vampires there are demons attached to the souls of humans, and witches. The novel’s protagonist Michelle is a person who survived a suicide attempt and has returned to the land of the living with no actual purpose in life.

Her parents are living a double life and she’s lost her friends and boyfriend. Michelle is truly alone, until she meets a young man named Julian at her new school. In meeting him, Michelle discovers that she has a demon attached to her soul and the rest of the book is about her struggling to deliver her soul from evil and finding a reason to live.

The Christian themes of good and evil, sin and temptation, demons, and prayer are heavily featured throughout the story and are at times delivered right on the nose. Some readers may find the exposition of them to be somewhat preachy. There’s also a bit of slut-shaming-in my opinion-in the early part of the story.

However the pacing of the story is well balanced and doesn’t stray from beginning to end. Readers will enjoy the character’s growth and development as they’ll sympathize and understand each of the characters’ motivations. The ending of the book is only the beginning of Michelle’s and Julian’s journey. I could see this book being a TV show and I think readers will definitely enjoy it.

Over all Almost Alive delivers and is a great addition to the paranormal, urban, horror, and supernatural genres.

4/5