Mermaids aren’t my thing, but a ship full of warrior women out to exterminate them had some real possibilities. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but it was engaging enough to keep me reading for a few hours straight. I ultimately gave it only three stars, but other reviewers on Goodreads were more impressed.
A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.
The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return.
Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.
Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.
For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.
I loved the idea of a ship of warrior women going out to conquer the enemy that was holding their society captive. The battle scenes were interesting and tense, and the enemy was frightening and still managed to retain the universal “human” qualities necessary for the plot to make sense. I loved the close friendships the main character had, and overall, I was engaged. The problem for me really came in some of the details. The time frame was murky for me – wooden ships but also helicopters. I wish that had been clarified in the development of the setting simply because it would have helped me stop wondering about it every time I saw something that seemed off. I also had trouble with some of the logic of sending only newbies out for the massacre. Why weren’t the seasoned warriors accompanying these girls? If things were so desperate, why weren’t the ones with experience on board to guide these untried fighters? This society just sends a bunch of eighteen year old girls out without any help? Nope. I also had to ask what exactly they had been doing in their five years of training since they had few team tactics or a developed sense of discipline and respect for leadership. They are teen girls, but basic training in the military manages to instill those traits, and it doesn’t take five years. These questions kept me from being able to immerse myself fully in the book, so, while they might be small issues (and ones I think could easily have been fixed) they were important. I liked the story, and I would be interested in seeing what happens next, but tightening up the holes in logic would have made this book so much stronger. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 9+.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.