Synopsis for Breakwater (from Goodreads):
A red tide is rising.
As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.
Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?
Other books in the series:
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Cover Love
Author: Catherine Jones Payne
# of Books: 1+ (Breakwater, Book 2)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mermaids
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: May 30, 2017 – ongoing
Source & Format: YA Bound Book Tours–eARC
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’ve been going through a bit of a mermaid withdrawal since I finished Jennifer Donnelly’s Waterfire Saga last year. I particularly liked that series because it had strong female characters and the world was fantastic. So I was eager to find another story to get lost in and this one looked promising!
One of my favourite aspects of an underwater world is when the author uses our everyday expressions and “water-ize” them. It’s the little things like “What the Depths!” (instead of “What the Hell!”) or “I’m not going to float here all day” that get you integrated into the world as a reader. It also shows all the effort the author puts into creating their world by looking at those “tiny” details. This one does this flawlessly and I loved watching it come to life as I read.
This book definitely has a slower plot line to it than I was anticipating and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
This story is all about doing the right thing even when other’s tell you not to. It’s more talking and reasoning than physically kicking bum, like so many other stories out there that have the clash between races/social hierarchy as their main plot. Most of the time, those stories require actually fighting back to make a change. So I found it really refreshing here that Jade tries to create a positive impact by speaking the truth and fighting for ideals through actions.
As a reader, you get caught up in the flow of the novel and it is easy to read even if it isn’t your typical action packed fantasy novel.
Jade lives in a bubble at the start of the book so it was nice when it burst and she got a dose of the real world. Once that bubble burst, she’s able to grow as a character…but not as much as I wanted. See, the problem is that Jade is a classic case of “Lead Heroine Sacrifice Syndrome“–meaning she thinks she alone can save the world by sacrificing herself. Like I said above, I can appreciate her efforts to change her world but I can’t believe how dense she is to the situation at hand. Her naivety (which is understandable given the fact that she is treated special by practically everyone) is a little tiring to read.
While I liked that this wasn’t a huge part of the story, I can’t help but think that it was bit of a missed opportunity. You are kind of told that there is this connection instead of being shown it. So I didn’t really get behind the romance as much as I had hoped.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
The last 15% of this book does a lot to set up a sequel and I’m eager to see what is in store.
My Rating: 3/5
If you want a fantasy novel that isn’t action based, this is a great one for you! Especially if you love mermaids.
Read if You Like: mermaids, slower stories
Avoid if You: want more physical action
- Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Waterfire Saga #1)
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