*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.
Becoming Undone is the sequel to Almost Alive and continues the story of two lovers who fight demons, Michelle and Julian.
Julian loses himself and it’s up to Michelle to save him and get him back and she does. But not before going through many hellish twists and turns. In fact Julian and Michelle both become undone in different ways, only to pick themselves up again at the end.
I truly enjoyed reading this book more than I did reading the first. What I loved about this book was that the plot moved steadily and had many twists and turns that I did not see coming. From the get-go the story is full of action packed movements as the series of events throughout the story build on one another.
In this story Michelle finds the hope and courage to believe, and that is one of the messages readers can take away from Becoming Undone. At the end of the book, I was left content but also wondering if Michelle and Julian’s story wasn’t over just yet.
Overall Becoming Undone is an excellent sequel and readers will not want to put the book down until they’ve reached the end.
Let 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.