Review: Mermaids by R.J. Furness

Review: Mermaids by R.J. FurnessMermaids by R.J. Furness

Also by this author: Shadows, Dragons
Genres: Fantasy

Mermaids are real, but they’re not what you expected!

Eighteen-year-old Sapphire Smyth is a survivor. She has spent her entire childhood in foster care, but she is just beginning to learn about her extraordinary powers.

It started when she encountered mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows. Then, even stranger things happened when a cruel gang attacked her. But it was when her best friend, Ben, helped her to escape that ordeal, that she began to realise her fate is unlike anything she had ever imagined. The problem is, that Ben seems to know more about Sapphire than Sapphire does.

Now in Vanhine—a mysterious town on a hidden island—Sapphire is about to make some remarkable discoveries. Not only are her birth parents connected to the peculiar town, but wonderous creatures exist there, too. Everything about Vanhine mesmerises Sapphire. But she has no idea how dangerous her destiny might be…

After last month’s book tour of Shadows, I was curious about the follow up. The author was kind enough to share Mermaids and Dragons. I finished Mermaids already, but you can expect a review for Dragons soon.

Sapphire follows her friend Ben and his sister to a new world, one were magic exists. She meets mermaids (hence the title) and drakes, learns about her gift, and the threats in this new world. It’s all pretty rushed, but what annoyed me most is the attitude of Sapphire. She still doesn’t want to hear answers, or accepts them. Her impatience is obstructive of the storytelling. She keeps asking ‘what’ and ‘why’, but when someone is prepared to give her an answer she just glances over it and asks more without listening. I also don’t like how everyone she meets rather shows her than explains, but given her bad attitude I get it. What surprised me most of all is the inconsistent character. It definitely feels like Sapphire changed from Shadows.

Since this is part of a serial, the books are only a few chapters long and the author relies on cliffhangers to keep the reader engaged. The title of the next book already reveals a little about the kind of cliffhanger you can expect, and also the what’s at the center of the next book (I’m expecting dragons).

I wish the main character was more curious and open minded. Someone who looks at the world with wonder rather than closing down. The world created by Furness is definitely interesting, but it’s not shown like the wonder it could be. I see the potential hiding in the shadows (pun intended), like in the scene where Sapphire sees the mermaids up close in the underwater dome.

I’m giving Mermaids 2,5 stars. The inconsistency of Sapphire’s character and her general attitude make me lose interest in the overall story. The world does interest me and R.J. Furness shows he can write. I’m not sure if I’ll keep reading after Dragons, but I might be interested in a new series by him.

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